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Hinson v. Hartley

March 24, 2010

GEORGE HINSON, PETITIONER,
v.
JAMES D. HARTLEY, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sandra M. Snyder United States Magistrate Judge

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION REGARDING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

[Doc. 1]

Petitioner is a state prisoner proceeding pro se with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.

BACKGROUND

Petitioner is currently in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation following his 1989 conviction for second degree murder. Petitioner was sentenced to fifteen years to life, plus three concurrent years for using a weapon and having served two prior prison terms. (Exhibit 1, to Answer.)

In the instant petition, Petitioner does not challenge the validity of his conviction; rather, he challenges Governor Schwarzenneger's 2007 decision finding him unsuitability for release on parole.

Petitioner appeared for a parole hearing on October 3, 2006, and the Board of Parole Hearings' (BPH) found him to be suitable for release. On February 22, 2007, the Governor reversed the BPH's decision and found Petitioner to be unsuitable for parole.

In 2007, Petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the Kern County Superior Court challenging the Governor's decision. (Exhibit 2, to Answer.) The superior court denied the petition finding the Governor's decision was supported by some evidence citing (In re Tripp, 150 Cal.4th 306, 315 (2007) and In re Rosenkrantz, 29 Cal.4th 616, 626 (2002)). (Exhibit 3, to Answer.)

Petitioner then filed a habeas corpus petition in the California Court of Appeal, which was summarily denied. (Exhibits 4 & 5, to Answer.)

In December 2008, Petitioner filed a petition in the California Supreme Court. (Exhibit 6, to Answer.) The petition was summarily denied. (Exhibit 7, to Answer.)

Petitioner filed the instant federal petition for writ of habeas corpus on July 24, 2009. (Court Doc. 1.) Respondent filed an answer to the petition on October 27, 2009, and Petitioner filed a traverse on November 19, 2009. (Court Docs. 10, 11.)

STATEMENT OF FACTS*fn1

On the evening of July 26, 1989, Petitioner stabbed and killed Mike McKnight after engaging in a physical altercation with him over money. The initial altercation began in the parking lot of an apartment complex. Witnesses saw Petitioner get out of the passenger side of a car and run toward Mike. The men punched each other. George then stabbed Mike several times and fled to a nearby residence. The occupants of the residence allowed Petitioner to use their telephone to make several calls, and he subsequently called a taxicab. The couple noticed that Petitioner had blood on him, but he did not appear to have any wounds. Petitioner told them that he had been robbed, and he hid in a closet located in the complex before knocking on their door. After Petitioner left, the couple reported the incident to the police. They also found a knife in ...


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