Thursday, August 20, 2009

In Re Johnson (Cal. Ct. App. - Aug. 4, 2009)

So you want to be a justice on the Court of Appeal (or a law clerk there), eh? The excitement. The novelty. The power. The duty to personally review articles in Men's Health about how to give women a really good orgasm to see whether a prisoner can be properly written up for having them. It's enough to give you chills.

No snarky comments allowed, by the way, on the fact that the prisoner here need not read the article anyway since he's going to be in prison for a long time and have no ability to use his new-found skills. Remember: Prison's all about rehabilitation. We want you to be ready, willing and able to reenter society once you get out. Really, really ready. On all fronts.
P.S. - On the merits, I agree with Justice Wiseman that there's no due process right of judicial review for the issuance of CDC 115's that don't involve the loss of custody credits. I did want to add, however, that I think it's a tougher question -- one that's admittedly not raised by this case -- whether such a right exists with respect to 115s that are subsequently relied upon by the parole board to deny parole. It seems to me that in such cases, continued custody is indeed at issue, at which point due process rights validly attach. Just something to think about in the future.