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William Williams v. Terri Gonzalez

February 17, 2011

WILLIAM WILLIAMS,
PETITIONER,
v.
TERRI GONZALEZ, ACTING WARDEN,
RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Suzanne H. Segal United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER I.

INTRODUCTION

On February 24, 2010, William Williams ("Petitioner"), a California state prisoner proceeding pro se, filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody (the "Petition") pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. On June 14, 2010, Respondent*fn1 filed an Answer to the Petition (the "Answer"). Respondent lodged seven documents from

Petitioner's state proceedings. On July 6, 2010, Petitioner filed a Traverse (the "Traverse"). The parties have consented to the jurisdiction of the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). For the reasons discussed below, the Petition is DENIED and this action is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

II.

PRIOR PROCEEDINGS

On December 3, 1979, Petitioner pled guilty in the San Joaquin County Superior Court to first degree murder in violation of California Penal Code ("Penal Code") section 187. (Petition at 43).*fn2 On January 22, 1980, the trial court sentenced Petitioner to an indeterminate term of twenty-five years to life in state prison. (Id. at 44).

On December 19, 2007, the Board of Parole Hearings (the "Board") held a Subsequent Parole Consideration Hearing in which they denied Petitioner parole. (Lodgment 7, Transcript of Subsequent Parole Consideration Hearing ("Lodgment 7") at 1-68). On January 30, 2009, Petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the San Joaquin County Superior Court, which was denied on April 9, 2009, with a reasoned opinion. (Lodgment 1, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus ("Lodgment 1"); Lodgment 2, San Joaquin County Superior Court Order ("Lodgment 2")). On June 17, 2009, Petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the California Court of Appeal, which was denied on June 18, 2009, without comment or citation to authority. (Lodgment 3,

Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus ("Lodgment 3"); Lodgment 4, California Court of Appeal Order ("Lodgment 4")). On August 4, 2009, Petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the California Supreme Court, which was denied on December 23, 2009, without comment or citation to authority. (Lodgment 5, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus ("Lodgment 5"); Lodgment 6, California Supreme Court Order ("Lodgment 6")). Petitioner filed the instant Petition on February 24, 2010.

III.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

On December 19, 2007, the Board held a Subsequent Parole Consideration Hearing with Presiding Commissioner Shelton and Deputy Commissioner Mejia. (Lodgment 7 at 3). Petitioner was represented by counsel at the hearing. (Id. at 4). During the hearing, Petitioner answered questions from the commissioners. (Id. at 12-42). At the close of the hearing, the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office opposed parole and a deputy district attorney presented argument to the Board. (Id. at 43-45). Next, Petitioner's counsel presented argument on Petitioner's behalf. (Id. at 46-53). After Petitioner counsel presented argument, Petitioner spoke on his own behalf. (Id. at 53-55). Finally, the victim's sister spoke to the Board in opposition of parole. (Id. at 56-60).

After a recess for deliberations, the Board informed Petitioner of their decision that he was "not suitable for parole and [he] would pose an unreasonable risk of danger to society or a threat to public safety if released from prison." (Lodgment 7 at 61). Presiding Commissioner Shelton explained that the Board based its decision on Petitioner's inability to understand what caused him to commit the underlying offense, the "cruel and callous manner" in which Petitioner committed the underlying ...


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