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Nicastro v. Pennsylvania Board of Probation & Parole

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

October 7, 2014

ROBERT JARRETT NICASTRO, Petitioner,
v.
PENNSYLVANIA BOARD OF PROBATION & PAROLE, et al., Respondents.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER[1]

CYNTHIA REED EDDY, Magistrate Judge.

Presently before the Court is a petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed by state prisoner Robert Jarrett Nicastro pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. [ECF No. 1]. In the petition, he challenges a decision made by the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (the "Board") to deny him parole. For the reasons set forth below, the petition is denied and a certificate of appealability is denied.

I.

A. Relevant Background

Petitioner is serving sentences imposed in Dauphin, Lancaster, and Mercer counties. The controlling maximum expiration date for his sentence is November 27, 2017. [Petition, ECF No. 1 at ¶ 10; Resp's Ex. 1, ECF No. 6-1 at 6].

The Board interviewed and granted Petitioner parole on August 20, 2013, upon completion of Therapeutic Community Drug and Alcohol Inpatient Treatment Program ("Therapeutic Community"). On August 26, 2013, the grant of parole was modified because of a new calculation of Petitioner's sentence structure by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, such that Petitioner was granted parole on or after October 21, 2013 and upon completion of Therapeutic Community. [Resp's Ex. 3, ECF No. 6-1 at 11].

On October 1, 2013, the grant of parole was rescinded due to Therapeutic Community failure. Petitioner was informed that he was listed for review in/after February, 2014. [Petition, ECF No. 1 at ¶ 13; Resp's Ex. 4, ECF No. 6-1 at 13].

By Board Decision of April 8, 2014, Petitioner was advised that parole had been denied. That is the decision at issue in this case. [Petition, ECF No. 1 at ¶ 14]. The Board informed Petitioner:

Following an interview with you and a review of your file, and having considered all matters required pursuant to the Board of Probation and Parole, in the exercise of its discretion, has determined at this time that: you are denied parole/reparole.
The reasons for the Board's decision include the following:
Your prior unsatisfactory supervision history.
Your failure to demonstrate motivation for success.
Your minimization of the nature and circumstances of the ...

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