FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Petitioner is a state prisoner proceeding in propria persona with a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. He challenges the decision of the California Board of Parole Hearings (hereinafter "Board") to deny him parole for three years at a parole consideration hearing held on May 30, 2007. He claims that: (1) the 2007 psychological report relied on by the Board to find him unsuitable for parole was invalid because its diagnoses are based on factually inaccurate information and a misapplied criterion; (2) the Board's 2007 decision violated his right to procedural due process because the Board failed to provide him with a reasonable amount of time to review and correct the factual inaccuracies in the 2007 psychological evaluation; (3) the Board's 2007 decision violated his right to due process because it was arbitrary and was not based on reliable evidence that he currently poses a danger to society; and (4) the factors relied on by the Board to deny him parole in 2007 are "void and unconstitutional."
As discussed below, the United States Supreme Court has held that the only inquiry on federal habeas review of a denial of parole is whether the petitioner has received "fair procedures" for vindication of the liberty interest in parole given by the state. Swarthout v. Cooke, 562 U.S. ___ (2011), No. 10-333, 2011 WL 197627, at *2 (Jan. 24, 2011). In the context of a California parole suitability hearing, a petitioner receives adequate process when he/she is allowed an opportunity to be heard and a statement of the reasons why parole was denied. Id. at **2-3 (federal due process satisfied where petitioners were "allowed to speak at their parole hearings and to contest the evidence against them, were afforded access to their records in advance, and were notified as to the reasons why parole was denied"); see also Greenholtz v. Inmates of Neb. Penal, 442 U.S. 1, 16 (1979). For the reasons that follow, the petition for writ of habeas corpus must be denied pursuant to Swarthout.
Petitioner is confined pursuant to a 1995 judgment of conviction entered against him in the Solano County Superior Court following his conviction on charges of second degree murder and burglary. Pet. at 1.*fn1 Pursuant to that conviction, petitioner was sentenced to fifteen years to life in state prison. Id.
The parole consideration hearing that is placed at issue by the instant petition was held on May 30, 2007. Id. at 57. At the time of that hearing, petitioner had served approximately eleven and one half years in prison. Id. at 59. Petitioner's minimum eligible parole date was December 17, 2005. Id. At his 2007 hearing, the Board panel found petitioner not suitable for parole and denied parole for three years. Dckt. 1-1 at 134.
On Nov. 6, 2007, petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the Solano County Superior Court challenging the Board's 2007 decision. Answer, Ex. 1. The Superior
Court denied that petition in a reasoned decision on the merits of petitioner's claims. Answer, Ex. 2.
Petitioner subsequently challenged the Board's 2007 decision in a petition for writ of habeas corpus filed in the California Court of Appeal and a petition for review filed in the California Supreme Court. Answer, Exs. 3, 5. Those petitions were summarily denied. Answer, Exs. 4, 6.
Petitioner raises four grounds for relief. First, he claims that the 2007 psychological report relied on by the Board to find him unsuitable for parole was invalid because its diagnoses are based on factually inaccurate information and a misapplied criterion. Specifically, he argues that the psychological report drew inaccurate conclusions about his current danger to society because the psychiatrist who prepared the report misunderstood the verdict against petitioner, erroneously stated that petitioner had problems with substance abuse, and misunderstood that petitioner's anti-social behavior did not begin until he was sixteen years old. Pet. at 9-12.
Next, petitioner claims that the Board's 2007 decision violated his right to procedural due process because the Board failed to provide him with a reasonable amount of time to review and correct the factual inaccuracies in the 2007 psychological evaluation. Petitioner informs the court that he requested a postponement of the 2007 hearing on the grounds that he did not receive the psychological report before the hearing and therefore needed additional time to address the "numerous factual inaccuracies" in the report. Id. at 12. He explains that the Board denied the request for a postponement. Id. at 13. However, he concedes that the hearing panel "extensively covered the 2007 psychological evaluation" and that "Petitioner and his attorney questioned the diagnoses made in the evaluation." Id. at 14.
Next, petitioner claims that the Board's 2007 decision violated his right to due process because it was arbitrary and was not based on reliable evidence that he currently posed a danger to society. Id. at 15-16.
Finally, petitioner claims that the factors relied on by the Board to deny him parole in 2007 are "void and ...