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Depriest Williams v. Corpus D.K. Sisto

July 12, 2011

DEPRIEST WILLIAMS, PETITIONER,
v.
CORPUS D.K. SISTO, WARDEN, ET AL.,
RESPONDENTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: James P. Hutton United States Magistrate Judge

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION TO DENY WRIT OF HABEAS

THIS MATTER comes before the Court on a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (ECF No. 1). Petitioner, DePriest Williams, is proceeding pro se. Respondent is represented by Krista L. Pollard, Deputy Attorney General for the state of California.

BACKGROUND

Petitioner is incarcerated at Solano California State Prison in Vacaville, California. On August 7, 1987, Petitioner was taken into custody and sentenced to 15 years to life term after being convicted of murder in the second degree in violation of California Penal Code § 187. (ECF No. 1 at 105). Petitioner became eligible for parole on July 24, 1996 and went before the Board of Prison Terms on November 16, 2005. After that hearing, the BPT denied the Petitioner's request, finding him unsuitable for parole. Now, Petitioner challenges the November 16, 2005, decision of the Board of Prison Terms, ("BPT"), denying his request for parole. (ECF No. 1).

At the hearing on November 16, 2005, the BPT concluded that Petitioner was unsuitable for parole based on a finding that he would pose an unreasonable risk of danger to society and be a threat to public safety if released from prison. (ECF No. 1 at 105). The BPT expressed specific concern about Petitioner's lack of stable plans for the future.

The order regarding Petitioner's Writ of Habeas Corpus from the Superior Court of California for the County of Los Angeles reflects the facts underlying the commitment offense, which are as follows:

The record reflects that on July 20, 1986, a group of young men were playing a radio in a loud manner outside of petitioner's apartment. When the young men would not respond to repeated requests to turn the volume down, petitioner's wife fired several shots into the air. Later, petitioner fired several shots into a crowd, striking one man in the foot. An altercation between this man and petitioner ensued and petitioner fired another shot, which hit the victim in the back and caused his death. (ECF No. 1 at 105).

Petitioner does not challenge his conviction and sentence in these proceedings.

ISSUES RAISED/DEFENSES

Petitioner challenges the BPT's determination that he was unsuitable for parole. The allegation in support of his habeas corpus petition are as follows:

1. The BPT's November 16, 2005, decision violated his right to due process under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution because the decision was not supported by any evidence in the record based on relevant factors prescribed by California Penal Code § 3041 or the Board's regulations. (ECF No. 1 at 5).

STANDARD OF REVIEW

Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, it is necessary that the Petitioner has exhausted state remedies before seeking federal habeas corpus review. The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, ("AEDPA"), worked substantial changes to the law of habeas corpus establishing more deferential standards of review to be used by a federal habeas court in assessing a state court's adjudication of a criminal defendant's claims of constitutional error. Moore v. Calderon, 108 F.3d 261, 263 (9th Cir. 1997). In addition, under the AEDPA, a federal writ may issue, "only when a state court decision was contrary to, or involved unreasonable application of an authoritative decision of the United States Supreme Court." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d) (West 2011); Moore, 108 F.3d 261 (9th Cir. 1997).

In the case at hand, Petitioner did exhaust all state remedies. The Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles denied Petitioner's habeas corpus petition on August 8, 2006. (ECF No. 1 at 106). Subsequently, the Court of Appeals of the State of California, Second Appellate District, Division III denied the petition on October 3, 2006. (ECF No. 1 at 108). The California State Supreme Court denied the petition on December 13, 2006. (ECF No. 1 at 110). ...


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