California must release prisoners, Supreme Court rules

The US Supreme Court has upheld an order for California to free thousands of prisoners because of overcrowding.

Federal judges had ordered 40,000 prisoners be released within two years. The state says it has 148,000 inmates, in jails designed for 80,000 people.

California appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that the prisoners could pose a risk to public safety.

But the court ruled the limit was necessary "to remedy the violation of prisoners' constitutional rights".

Judges rejected the state's appeal by a 5-4 vote, and upheld the 2009 federal court order.

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