Sacramento, California – California Governor Jerry Brown has found a solution to the state’s prison overcrowding. The solution is in The Netherlands.
The Netherlands recently announced that it will close eight prisons because of a lack of criminals. The Dutch justice ministry said that declining crime rates in the Netherlands mean that although the country has the capacity for 14,000 prisoners, there are only 12,000 detainees. The decrease is expected to continue, the ministry said.
Earlier, Brown faced a serious dilemma on how to reduce California’s prison overcrowding to below 137 percent of capacity by the end of 2013, as ordered by the Federal Courts. A three-judge special panel ruled in 2009 that widespread overcrowding in California prisons is unconstitutional because it constitutes “cruel and unusual punishment.” The US Supreme Court upheld that ruling in 2011 and 2012 when the Department of Corrections had failed to act. A federal judge ordered the state to release thousands of low-level offenders before their sentences expired.
Prison facilities operated at 200 percent capacity for more than a decade.
“Building new prisons is not an option,” Brown said. “We can’t afford to spend taxpayer money to erect more jails which is only a temporary solution.”
So, rather than sending prisoners to various county jails which is opposed by most local governments, or releasing prisoners before their time is served, Brown said that California will lease the eight prisons in The Netherlands and transfer some 2,000 of its heavy offenders and those with longer jail sentences.
The Dutch government appears to be receptive to Brown’s idea and is contemplating on renting out the Dutch prisons to California at below market rates. Final negotiations are underway.
Manila, Philippines – Suspected pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles wasted no time in trying to reach out to Barack Obama after it was officially announced that the U.S. President will be visiting Manila in October.
Obama has included the Philippines in his Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) tour. Manila will be Obama’s last stop. It will be his first visit to the Philippines.
Napoles is the central figure in the Philippine pork barrel scam involving the diversion of ten billion pesos in public funds into fake non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the pockets of senators and congressmen. She is currently in prison and facing charges for illegally detaining one of the whistleblowers in this escalating scandal.
Speaking through her lawyer Lorna Kapunan, Napoles said that she has sent a letter to the U.S. Embassy in Manila requesting a private meeting with Obama when the latter arrives in the Philippine capital.
Informed sources said that in her letter, Napoles has indicated that she will be asking Obama to grant her political asylum in the U.S. and would like to be accommodated aboard Air Force One when Obama leaves Manila to return to the U.S.
Napoles said that she is very confident that she will be granted asylum because she has contrbuted immemsely to the economic recovery of America through her multimillion-dollar U.S. investments and the much talked-about shopping sprees and lavish parties by her daughter, aspiring fashion designer Jeane Napoles.
Napoles said she will not be a burden to America and promised that if Obama interceded on her behalf to have all her assets unfrozen, she will invest all her money in the U.S. and help create more jobs for Americans.
Chicago, Illinois – Anonymous sources at the Office of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) today announced that the conviction of Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier sentenced to 35 years in military prison for leaking government classified documents, is likely to be overturned soon.
Manning received the sentence on Wednesday for giving more than 700,000 secret files, videos and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks. His lawyers had argued the former Army intelligence analyst suffered a sexual identity crisis when he leaked the files while serving in Iraq in 2009 and 2010.
JAG’s opinion came after Manning, in a statement read on NBC’s “Today” show declared, “As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning, I am a female.”
“Given the way that I feel and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible,” Manning said. “I also request that starting today you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun.”
In view of this development, JAG said the military has no legal standing to carry out the conviction and sentence of the 25 year-old Manning, since SHE is no longer the same person it charged with the crime. “We have no choice but to drop the conviction and sentence,” JAG said.
Meanwhile, lawyers for Chelsea said they will file for compensation for time already served in prison by the former Bradley.