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JOSEPH ZAZO v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (02/08/84)

decided: February 8, 1984.

JOSEPH ZAZO, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA BOARD OF PROBATION AND PAROLE, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole in the case of Joseph Zazo, Parole Number 7378-M, dated May 11, 1981.

COUNSEL

Timothy P. Wile, Assistant Public Defender, for petitioner.

Arthur R. Thomas, Assistant Chief Counsel, with him, Robert A. Greevy, Chief Counsel, Jay C. Waldman, General Counsel, and LeRoy S. Zimmerman, Attorney General, for respondent.

Judges Rogers, Craig and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 80 Pa. Commw. Page 199]

Joseph Zazo (petitioner) seeks review of an order of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (board) refusing his request for administrative relief from a board action revoking his parole and recommitting him for thirty-three months as a convicted parole violator.

The petitioner was convicted of burglary and sentenced to a term of six months to four years by the Court of Common Pleas of Berks County. While on parole for this conviction, the petitioner was arrested and convicted of burglary in the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County. On April 29, 1981, the petitioner was afforded a full board revocation hearing at the State Correctional Institution at Graterford, at which he was represented by counsel. On

[ 80 Pa. Commw. Page 200]

May 11, 1981, the board ordered the petitioner recommitted as a convicted parole violator to serve thirty-three months back time for the Montgomery County conviction. The board thereafter denied the petitioner's request for administrative relief.

Our review is limited to determining whether the adjudication of the board is supported by substantial evidence, is in accordance with law and is observant of the petitioner's constitutional rights. Section 704 of the Administrative Agency Law, 2 Pa. C.S. § 704; Washington v. Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, 73 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 432, 458 A.2d 645 (1983). The petitioner advances three points of alleged error which, he maintains, warrant a remand to the board.

The petitioner first asserts that the board abused a sound discretion by capriciously disregarding substantial mitigating evidence presented at the revocation hearing. At the hearing, the petitioner testified that his criminal activity was a direct result of his addiction to narcotics, that he had never been afforded treatment or therapy for this condition and that he desired that the board place him in a long-term in-patient drug treatment program.

The petitioner says that the board's failure to mention this evidence proves a capricious disregard of it. We disagree. The board has a wide discretion with respect to matters of credibility and the weight to be given evidence. Section 21.1(a) of the Act of August 6, 1941 (Act), P.L. 861, as amended, 61 P.S. § 331.21a(a). The board is not required to discuss and specifically evaluate every contention of the parties. The petitioner committed burglary ...


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