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Wright v. Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

August 7, 2014

HOWARD B. WRIGHT, Petitioner,
v.
PENNSYLVANIA BOARD OF PROBATION AND PAROLE, et al., Respondents.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER[1]

CYNTHIA REED EDDY, Magistrate Judge.

Before the Court is a petition for a writ of habeas corpus (ECF No. 1) filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 by state prisoner Howard B. Wright. Petitioner's sole claim appears to be that he should be incarcerated in York County prison, as opposed to a Pennsylvania State correctional institution. For the reasons that follow, the petition will be dismissed.

Relevant Background

Petitioner previously filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus, which was docketed in this Court at 3:10-CV-00091 (W.D. Pa.). On December 9, 2011, this Court issued a Report and Recommendation, followed by a January 5, 2010, Memorandum Order which dismissed the petition as moot.

Petitioner has a history of being convicted of new offenses while on parole. On a number of occasions, the Board has recommitted him as a convicted parole violator. The following is a brief history of Petitioner's criminal history.

As set forth in the Report and Recommendation, on October 20, 2003, in the Court of Common Pleas of York County, Petitioner was sentenced to an aggregate sentence of from one to six years incarceration for various drug related offenses. His minimum release date was July 23, 2004, and his maximum date was July 23, 2008. Petitioner was released on parole December 8, 2004.

On December 22, 2007, Petitioner was charged with Driving Under the Influence following a traffic stop. On July 23, 2008, Petitioner reached the maximum sentence date on the October 20, 2003 drug-related sentences. As of that date, however, the DUI charges that resulted from the December 22, 2007 traffic stop still were outstanding.

On October 24, 2008, Petitioner again was arrested for Driving Under the Influence and for operating a vehicle without a proper license. On December 4, 2008, Petitioner pleaded guilty to the DUI charges resulting from the December 22, 2007 traffic stop. On March 27, 2009, Petitioner pleaded guilty to the DUI charges resulting from the October 24, 2008 arrest. Because this was his second DUI offense within seven years, he received an aggregate sentence of from 90 days to 5 years incarceration with a minimum sentence date of June 5, 2009 and a maximum sentence date of March 7, 2014.

On March 11, 2009, the Board served Petitioner with a notice of charges indicating that he was being charged as a convicted parole violator with respect to his 2003 sentence as the result of the December 4, 2008 guilty pleas. On May 14, 2009, Petitioner was recommitted and his 2003 sentence was recalculated to a new maximum sentence date of August 24, 2012.[2]

On November 3, 2009, Petitioner was granted reparole from the 2003 sentences and parole from the 2009 sentences upon successful completion of drug and alcohol treatment. Petitioner was released on parole from his 2009 sentence on July 6, 2010. His maximum sentence date was March 7, 2014.

On January 12, 2012, Petitioner pled guilty to a new criminal offense in York County, case number CP-67-CR-5665-2011. On that date, Petitioner was released to Pennsylvania authorities and placed in SCI-Chester in "parole violator pending" status. On March 20, 2012, petitioner's parole was revoked because of the 2012 conviction in York County. By Board decision recorded May 4, 2012, Petitioner was recommitted to state custody as a convicted parole violator. His new parole violation maximum sentence date on the March 27, 2009 DUI sentence was established as May 3, 2015.

Petitioner filed a petition for administrative review of the May 4, 2012 parole board decision. On September 4, 2012, the petition for administrative review was denied and the May 4, 2012 decision was affirmed. The record reflects that Petitioner did not challenge the parole board decisions of March 20, 2012, May 4, 2012, or September 4, 2012 by filing a petition for review in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. 42 Pa.C.S § 763(a).

Petitioner was refused parole on September 7, 2012. Petitioner was again refused parole on November 14, 2013. Petitioner is currently incarcerated in Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution - Smithfield, serving the March 27, 2009 DUI sentence, which will expire on May 3, 2015.

Petitioner commenced the present action on February 18, 2014, pursuant to 28 USC § 2254 by filing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. He contends that he is being detained unlawfully as a convicted parole violator because, according to Petitioner, his parole has "maxed out." He seeks an order from this Court that invalidates the extension of his maximum sentence date and directs that he be released from state custody and transferred to York County. Respondents have filed a Response to the Petition, in which they argue, inter alia, that Petitioner's claims must be denied as procedurally defaulted because he failed to exhaust them in state court. ...


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