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Robinson v. Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

July 9, 2019

ALONZO ROBINSON, Petitioner,
v.
PENNSYLVANIA BOARD OF PROBATION AND PAROLE, et al. Respondents.

          ORDER

          MITCHELL S. GOLDBERG, J.

         AND NOW this 8th day of July, 2019, upon consideration of Petitioner's Amended Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (Doc. No. 39), Respondents' Opposition (Doc No. 41), Petitioner's Reply (Doc. No. 43), the Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) of United States Magistrate Judge Marilyn Heffley (Doc. No. 44), Petitioner's Objections (Doc. No. 46), and Respondents' Opposition to the Objections (Doc. No. 48), I find as follows:

         Factual and Procedural History[1]

         1. In 1983, a Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas jury convicted Petitioner, Alonzo Robinson, of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, and simple assault. Petitioner was subsequently sentenced to twenty-seven and a half to fifty-five years' imprisonment. In connection with his apprehension and arrest in the sexual offense charges, Petitioner was separately charged, tried, convicted, and sentenced for firearms violations, resisting arrest, and related offenses.

         2. Petitioner appealed these convictions to both the Pennsylvania Superior Court and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, both of which affirmed his convictions. Petitioner also sought and was denied relief under the Pennsylvania Post-Conviction Relief Act (“PCRA”), 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 9541, et seq.

         3. Petitioner previously filed four petitions for writ of habeas corpus, all of which challenged his conviction and sentence. These petitions were all denied.

         4. On November 16, 2017, Petitioner filed the current pro se Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus challenging his denial of parole. Specifically, he claimed that he had been improperly denied parole on six occasions following the expiration of his minimum sentence on June 4, 2012.

         5. Retained counsel subsequently entered an appearance on Petitioner's behalf and, on August 7, 2018, filed an Amended Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, challenging only the latest denial of parole on September 21, 2017.

         6. The case was referred to Judge Heffley, who issued an R&R on March 22, 2019, finding that Petitioner's due process claim was meritless and that Petitioner was not entitled to discovery.

         7. On March 22, 2019, Petitioner filed Objections to that Report, which I now consider.

         Standard for Review of an R&R

         8. Under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), a district court judge may refer a habeas petition to a magistrate judge for proposed findings of fact and recommendations for disposition. When objections to a Report and Recommendation have been filed, the district court must make a de novo review of those portions of the report to which specific objections are made. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); Sample v. Diecks, 885 F.2d 1099, 1106 n.3 (3d Cir. 1989). In performing this review, the district court “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).

         Discussion

         9. The Fourteenth Amendment provides, in pertinent part: “nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” U.S. Const. amend. XIV, § 1. However, “[i]t 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.” Anderson v. PBPP, No. 05-163, 2006 WL 1149233, at *1 (M.D. Pa. Apr. 26, 2006) (quoting Greenholtz v. Inmates of Neb. Penal & Correctional Complex, 442 U.S. 1, 7 (1979)); see Harper v. Thomas, No. 07-647, 2007 WL 2713246, at *4 (E.D. Pa. Sept. 27, 2007). Thus, the Constitution “does ...


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