United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
PARADISE BAXTER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
before the Court is a petition for a writ of habeas corpus
filed by state prisoner George Lester Harris, Jr., (the
"Petitioner") pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
(ECF No. 1). He challenges the January 11, 2017, 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.
February 1, 2001, the Petitioner was sentenced in the Court
of Common Pleas of Allegheny County to an aggregate term of
imprisonment of 13 years, 6 months to 27 years for committing
the crimes of Aggravated Assault and Violation of the Uniform
Firearms Act. The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
("DOC") calculated his minimum sentence date to be
June 4, 2011, and his maximum sentence date to be December 4,
2024. After the expiration of his minimum sentence date, the
Board granted the Petitioner parole and he was released in
January 2015, the Petitioner failed to report to his parole
agent and a check of his residence revealed that he was not
living at his approved address. As a result, the Board
declared the Petitioner delinquent. On January 19, 2015, the
Petitioner was arrested in Meadville, Pennsylvania, and
charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance, False
Report to Law Enforcement, and additional charges. That same
month, he was charged with Simple Assault and Harassment for
a fight that occurred while he was incarcerated in the
Crawford County Jail. In February 2015, the Board notified
the Petitioner that he was detained pending disposition of is
criminal charges and that it recommitted him as a technical
parole violator for six months for leaving the district
without permission, failure to report as instructed, and
failure to be at his approved residence during curfew hours.
8, 2015, the Court of Common Pleas of Crawford County imposed
a judgment of sentence upon the Petitioner of 109 days to 12
months for committing the crimes for which he was arrested in
January of that year. As a result of his new judgments of
sentences, in August 2015 the Board recommitted the
Petitioner as a convicted parole violator to serve 9 months
of backtime. His parole violation maximum sentence date was
recalculated to be March 28, 2025.
December 2015, the Board denied the Petitioner reparole. On
January 11, 2017, it denied him reparole again, and it is
that decision that is at issue in this proceeding. On that
date, the Board informed the Petitioner that:
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, [the Board] 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 risk and needs assessment indicating your level of risk
to the community.
Reports, evaluations and assessments/level of risk indicates
your risk to the community.
Your minimization of the nature and circumstances of the
Your lack of remorse for the offense(s) ...