Thursday, April 7, 2011

In re Loveless : win some, lose some: Looser for Lifers

The Court of Appeal vacated the trial court order, finding there was "some evidence" supporting the board's decision.

Case Name:
In re Loveless , District: 3 DCA , Case #: C062354
Opinion Date: 1/7/2011 , DAR #: 1739

Case Holding:

The standard of review for reviewing a parole decision is whether there is some evidence that an inmate poses a current risk to public safety, not merely whether there is some evidence to support the findings on the suitability or unsuitability factors.

Loveless was convicted of second degree murder based on the killing of a homeowner in front of his teenage son during the course of a home invasion robbery. At the time of the crime he was unemployed and an alcoholic. When Loveless came up for a parole hearing 22 years later, the board denied parole because the crime was "especially callous" and because he lacked insight and remorse, and had inadequate post-release plans.

The trial court reversed the denial of parole, and the warden appealed. The Court of Appeal vacated the trial court order, finding there was "some evidence" supporting the board's decision.

The evidence supports the board's findings regarding unsuitability factors, and there is a rational nexus between these findings and current dangerousness. Loveless did not adequately address post-release job prospects and stopped participating in AA, when unemployment and alcoholism were contributing factors to the crime.

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