United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
PATRICIA L. DODGE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
before the Court is the Petition for a Writ of Habeas
Corpus (ECF No. 1) filed by state prisoner John Lee
(“Petitioner”). Petitioner challenges the
decision by the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole
(“Board”) to deny him parole. For the reasons set
forth below, the Court will deny the Petition and deny a
certificate of appealability.
2008, the Commonwealth charged Petitioner with offenses
related to the sexual assault of children. His trial was held
in March 2009 in the Court of Common Pleas of McKean County,
and at its conclusion the jury convicted him of numerous
crimes. The court imposed his sentence in July 2009, but it
subsequently vacated that sentence after Petitioner prevailed
in a collateral proceeding he filed under Pennsylvania's
Post-Conviction Relief Act (“PCRA”). Petitioner
later reached a plea agreement with the prosecution, and on
February 13, 2012, he pleaded guilty to: (1) Involuntary
Deviate Sexual Intercourse With a Child, in violation of 18
Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 3123(b); (2) Indecent Assault,
Victim Less Than 13, in violation of 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann.
§ 3126(a); and (3) Aggravated Indecent Assault, Victim
Less than 13, in violation of 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §
3125(a)(7). (ECF No. 16-1 at 15-17, 19-22). The court
imposed a total aggregate sentence of 10 to 20 years of
imprisonment, to be followed by four years of probation. (ECF
No. 16-1 at 15-17). It also determined that Petitioner was a
Sexually Violent Predator and, therefore, subject to the
provisions of Megan's Law. (Id. at 19-23).
Petitioner approached his minimum sentence date, the Board
evaluated him for parole. On March 22, 2018, it issued a
decision notifying him that it denied him parole.
(Id. at 28). It explained:
reasons for the Board's decision include the following:
Your need to participate in and complete additional
Your risk and needs assessment indicating your level of risk
to the community.
Your failure to demonstrate motivation for success.
Your minimization/denial of the nature and circumstances of
the offense(s) committed.
Your refusal to accept responsibility for the offense(s)
Your lack of remorse for the offense(s) committed.
Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus (ECF No. 1) and
Memorandum of Law in Support (ECF No. 2), Petitioner claims
that the Board's decision to deny him parole violated his
substantive due process rights. In their Answer (ECF No. 16),
Respondents contend that the Court should ...