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Parker v. Tritt

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

May 15, 2018

SHAWN PARKER, Petitioner
v.
BRENDA TRITT, Respondent

          MEMORANDUM

          RICHARD P. CONABOY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Background

         Shawn Parker, an inmate at the State Correctional Institution, Frackville, Pennsylvania (SCI-Frackville) filed this pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus. Service of the petition and supporting memorandum were previously ordered.

         Parker was convicted of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance in the Court of Common Pleas of Berks County, Pennsylvania. On July 25, 2008, Petitioner was sentenced to a two (2) year, (3) month to ten (10) year of confinement as a result of that conviction. Petitioner indicates that he did not pursue a direct appeal.

         On February 9, 2011, Parker was granted parole by the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (Parole Board). By decision dated October 14, 2011, the Parole Board recommitted Parker as a technical parole violator for violating a condition of his parole. Specifically, it was determined that Petitioner had failed to successfully complete the ADAPPT program.

         By decision dated March 23, 2013 Petitioner was denied reparole based upon multiple factors. See Doc. 6-1, p. 11. Specifically, the Parole Board cited the following grounds: a risks and needs assessment found that Parker posed a risk to the community if released; a negative recommendation by the Department of Corrections (DOC); the inmate's prior unsatisfactory parole supervision history; Parker's failure to demonstrate motivation for success; and the prisoner's refusal to accept responsibility for his crime.

         An April 12, 2013 Parole Board decision denied Petitioner's second reparole application. See id. at p. 14. This unfavorable determination again noted Parker's poor parole supervision history; minimization of his criminal conduct, and that a risk and needs assessment determined that he pose a risk to the community. On March 9, 2015, Parker was denied reparole for a third time. See id. at p. 17. This denial noted Petitioner's poor parole supervision history, failure to demonstrate motivation for success, and an unfavorable risk and needs assessment, factors which were cited in Parker's two prior reparole denials.

         Parker's pending petition challenges the legality of denial of his request for parole. He contends that the adverse parole decisions were retaliatory and violated his right to due process because the reasons stated by the Parole Board were arbitrary and capricious.

         Discussion

         Title 28, United States Code § 2241, vests the federal district courts with jurisdiction to grant a writ of habeas corpus to persons in custody in violation of the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States. See 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3).

         Due Process

         Respondent argues that there is no basis for federal habeas corpus relief because Parker does not have a liberty interest in parole and was not denied reparole because of any arbitrary or constitutionally impermissible reasons. See Doc. 6, p. 6.

         It is well-settled that “there is no constitutional or inherent right of a convicted person to be conditionally released before the expiration of a valid sentence." Greenholtz v. Inmates of Nebraska Penal & Correctional Complex, 442 U.S. 1, 7 (1979). Likewise, the Pennsylvania parole statute does not create a liberty interest in the right to be paroled. Rodgers v. Parole Agent SCI-Frackville, Wech, 916 F.Supp. 474, 476-77 (E.D. Pa. 1996); McCrery v. Mark, 823 F.Supp. 288, 294 (E.D. Pa. 1993); Thorpe v. Grillo, 80 Fed.Appx. 215 (3d Cir. 2003)(because there is no ...


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