A panel of three federal judges on Wednesday appointed Elwood Lui, a former associate justice of the California Court of Appeal, as the “compliance officer” empowered to begin releasing state prison inmates if California fails to meet court ordered deadlines to reduce its prisoner population.
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The compliance officer position was created through a Feb. 10 order by the court, which comprises 9th U.S. Circuit Court Judge Stephen Reinhardt, Judge Thelton E. Henderson of the San Francisco-based Northern District of California and Judge Lawrence K. Karlton of the Sacramento-based Eastern District of California.
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The compliance officer now has the authority to release inmates if the prison population is not cut to 143 percent of capacity by June 30 (or 116,651 inmates); to 141.5 percent by Feb. 28, 2015 (115,427 inmates); and to 137.5 percent a year after that (112,164 inmates).