Monday, November 9, 2009

In re Cerny - filed 11/4/09, First District, Div. 3 ( 2009 SOS 6355)

Finally another Federal case in the inmate's favor regarding the Parole Plan for release after being "branded" as a substance abuser. The crime and drug use was found to "remote" in time and could not be used against the inmate.

Inmate’s inability to demonstrate a suitable plan for release may be the only factor that demonstrates his unsuitability for parole based on evidence of inmate’s extensive history of drug abuse and dependence. Parole board’s concern that inmate might revert to prior drug habits and thus become a danger to the public was justified. Circumstances of inmate’s commitment offense--a second-degree murder over a $60 drug deal gone bad 29 years ago while inmate was a chronic drug user--did not provide evidence that inmate’s release would unreasonably endanger the public, given close nexus between inmate’s history and drug abuse and the circumstances of his crime, the substantial amount of intervening time in which inmate has not committed any violent act or abused drugs, and defendant’s long-standing treatment for drug abuse. Inmate’s social and criminal history, which was inseparable from his history of addiction and drug abuse, were too far removed in time and behavioral attributes to constitute reliable evidence of inmate’s current dangerousness.


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