United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
MAUREEN P. KELLY CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
LeMarie Clark (“Petitioner”) is a state prisoner,
proceeding pro se, who was convicted of two counts of
Criminal Conspiracy to commit homicide, five counts of
Statutory Sexual Assault and five counts of Involuntary
Deviate Sexual Intercourse, involving her scheme to
manipulate a juvenile boy, age 15, to kill Petitioner's
husband. Petitioner was sentenced to 12 to 30 years of
incarceration. She has filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas
Corpus by a Person in State Custody pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254 (the “Petition”). ECF No. 4. By means
of the Petition, she seeks to challenge, not her conviction
and sentence, but the denial of parole by the Pennsylvania
Board of Probation and Parole (the “Board”).
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
February 20, 2001, Petitioner was sentenced in the Court of
Common Pleas of Cambria County to concurrent sentences,
totaling 12 to 30 years of incarceration. ECF No. 17 ¶
1. Petitioner's minimum sentence expired on February 10,
2013. Id. ¶ 2. Her maximum sentence will expire
on February 10, 2031. Id. ¶ 3. At the time that
the Answer was filed, Petitioner had been denied parole four
times: April 1, 2013; January 29, 2014; June 24, 2015; and
March 16, 2016. Id. ¶ 4. It is this last denial
of parole that Petitioner challenges in this Petition.
Petition, Petitioner claims that the denial of parole was a
“[v]iolation of substantive due process as guaranteed
by the Fourteenth Amendment and cruel and unusual punishment
as precluded by the Eighth Amendment.” ECF No. 4 ¶
12. Petitioner complains that her rights were violated for
the following reasons: 1) the reasons given for denial of
parole are punitive and redundant; 2) despite having the
recommendation of the Department of Corrections, full staff
support and low risk score in an RST evaluation, the Board
states that she remains a risk to the community; 3) she has
taken all of her mandatory programs and she remains
misconduct free; 4) the Board overlooks or undervalues all of
the accomplishments she has made while incarcerated; 5) the
denials of parole are based in general language and not
specifically addressed to Petitioner's personal
situation. Id. at 6. Petitioner also requests that
she receive a fair and impartial hearing before a different
hearing examiner. Id.
March 16, 2016 decision denying Petitioner parole, the Board
provided Petitioner the following reasons for the denial:
REPORTS, EVALUATIONS ASSESSMENTS/LEVEL OF RISK INDICATES YOUR
RISK TO THE COMMUNITY.
YOUR MINIMIZATION/DENIAL OF THE NATURE AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF
THE OFFENSES(S) COMMITTED.
YOUR REFUSAL TO ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE OFFENSE(S)
YOUR LACK OF REMORSE FOR THE OFFENSE(S) COMMITTED.
ECF No. 17-1 at 18.
filed an Answer, denying that Petitioner was entitled to any
relief. ECF No. 17. The parties have all consented to have
the Magistrate Judge exercise plenary jurisdiction. ECF Nos.