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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 51988 Find in a Library
Title: DUE PROCESS AND THE PAROLE RELEASE DECISION
Journal: KENTUCKY LAW JOURNAL  Volume:66  Issue:2  Dated:(1977/1978)  Pages:405-425
Author(s): D CHU
Corporate Author: University of Kentucky
College of Law
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40506
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE EXTENSION OF PRISONERS' CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS OF LAW INTO AREAS OF PAROLE REVOCATION AND INMATE DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS URGE A RECONSIDERATION OF THE CONCEPTS REGARDING PAROLE RELEASE.
Abstract: SINCE THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT RULINGS IN MORRISSEY V. BREWER (1972) AND WOLFF V. MCDONNELL (1974), SEVERAL FEDERAL COURTS HAVE HELD THAT DUE PROCESS APPLIES TO PRISONERS AT LEAST TO THE EXTENT THAT REASONS MUST BE PROVIDED TO THE PRISONER FOR THE DENIAL OF PAROLE. IN EITHER THE CASE OF SCOTT V. KENTUCKY PAROLE BOARD (1976), PRESENTLY ON REMAND TO THE SIXTH CIRCUIT, OR IN A FUTURE CASE, THE HIGH COURT WILL BE COMPELLED TO DETERMINE IF PROCEDURAL DUE PROCESS APPLIES TO PAROLE RELEASE PROCEEDINGS, AND IF IT DOES APPLY, WHAT MINIMUM PROCEDURES ARE REQUIRED. THE TEST USED IN DETERMINING THE APPLICABILITY OF DUE PROCESS IS WHETHER THE PRISONER'S INTEREST IS ONE INVOLVING LIBERTY OR PROPERTY AND THUS ENTITLED TO PROTECTION UNDER THE CONSTITUTION. BECAUSE THE 5TH AND 14TH AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION GUARANTEE THAT NO ONE WILL SUFFER DEPRIVATIONS OF LIBERTY WITHOUT DUE PROCESS OF LAW, AND BECAUSE OF THE SIMILAR NATURE OF PAROLE REVOCATION AND PAROLE DENIAL, IT WOULD SEEM THAT THE SAME PROTECTIONS PROVIDED DURING PAROLE REVOCATION PROCEEDINGS OUGHT TO BE REQUIRED FOR PAROLE DENIAL HEARINGS. PRISONERS HAVE A PROPERTY INTEREST IN THE CREDITS THAT THEY HAVE RECEIVED FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR DURING IMPRISONMENT, ACCORDING TO THE WOLFF DECISION. THE PRISONERS ALSO HAVE A JUSTIFIABLE EXPECTATION THAT THE PAROLE BOARDS WILL NOT ARBITRARILY DENY THEM PAROLE WHEN THERE IS EVIDENCE OF REHABILITATION. ONCE A PRISONER IS HELD TO HAVE A PROTECTED INTEREST IN PAROLE, THEN THE PROCEDURES WHICH GOVERN DENIAL OF PAROLE MUST BE EXAMINED BY CONSTITUTIONAL STANDARDS OF FAIRNESS AND RATIONALITY, THAT HAVE OBJECTIVE CRITERIA OF PRIOR NOTICE, ACCESS TO EVIDENCE, REBUTTAL OF CHALLENGED EVIDENCE, AND A STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR A DENIAL. THE CASE OF GAGNON V. SCARPELLI (1973) SET FORTH THE PROCEDURE FOR CASE-BY-CASE DETERMINATION OF WHETHER A PAROLEE HAS AN ADDITIONAL RIGHT TO COUNSEL. TO QUALIFY FOR APPOINTED COUNSEL UNDER GAGNON, THE PAROLEE MUST MAKE A TIMELY APPLICATION FOR THE APPOINTMENT BASED ON THE DENIAL OF THE ALLEGED VIOLATION OF PAROLE. EVEN UNDER THIS HOLDING, IF IT COULD BE APPLIED TO PAROLE RELEASE HEARINGS, THE PAROLE BOARD ITSELF WOULD HAVE THE POWER TO DETERMINE WHETHER A CASE WARRANTED THE APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL. THE COURTS WOULD FIND ADVISABLE THE SETTING FORTH OF SPECIFIC GUIDELINES CONCERNING PROCEDURES DURING PAROLE RELEASE HEARINGS, RATHER THAN RELYING UPON THE STATES TO DETERMINE THEIR OWN STANDARDS FOR THE SAFEGUARD OF A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT. (TWK)
Index Term(s): Court appointed counsel; Good time allowance; Parole; Parole board; Parole board discretion; Parole hearing; Parolees rights; Right to Due Process; Rights of the accused
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51988

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