The opinion of the court was delivered by: Marilyn L. Huff, District Judge United States District Court
ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND ADOPTING THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
On April 7, 2010, Petitioner Ronald Eugene Jenson ("Jenson"), a state prisoner proceeding pro se, filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 challenging the Board of Prison Hearings' ("Board") parole denial. (Doc. No. 1. "Pet.") On April 12, 2010, the District Court for the Central District of California transferred this case to the District Court for the Southern District of California. (Doc. No. 3.) Respondent filed an answer to the petition on August 24, 2010. (Doc. No. 22.) Jenson filed a traverse on September 13, 2010, (Doc. No 24.), and a supplemental pleading on May 7, 2011. (Doc. No. 30, "Supp.") On June 30, 2011, the magistrate judge issued a Report and Recommendation ("R&R") that the Court deny the petition. (Doc. No. 32.) On July 18, 2011, Jenson filed an objection to the R&R. (Doc. No. 33.)
The Court, pursuant to its discretion under Local Rule 7.1(d)(1), determines this matter is appropriate for resolution without oral argument and submits the matter on the papers. For the reasons below, the Court denies the petition and adopts the report and recommendation.
Petitioner challenges his denial of parole. (Doc. No. 1. "Pet.")
Petitioner is serving time for a conviction of first-degree murder and
two counts of attempted robbery with the use of a firearm.*fn1
(Lodgment No. 1.) The court sentenced Jenson to serve
twenty-seven-years-to-life with the possibility of parole. (Lodgment
No. 1, 4.) While in prison, Jenson pled guilty to escaping from
prison, assault with a deadly weapon upon a peace officer and
possession of a deadly weapon by a prisoner. (Lodgment No. 2 & 3.) For
these additional convictions, the court sentenced Jenson to a seven
year, four month consecutive term. (Lodgment No. 4.) The Board held
Jenson's parole suitability hearing on October 27, 2008. (Lodgment No.
5., Board Hearing Transcript ("Transcript") at 1.)*fn2
The Board reviewed Jenson's commitment offense, criminal history,
institutional behavior, and attitude toward the crime and found Jenson
unsuitable for parole. (Transcript at 10-71, 101-05.)
On March 2, 2009, Jenson filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the Los Angeles County Superior Court challenging the Board's parole denial. (Lodgment No. 5 at 1.) The superior court found "some evidence" supported the Board's decision and denied Jenson's petition. (Lodgment No. 6 at 1.) Jenson subsequently filed a petition for habeas corpus in the California Court of Appeal. (Lodgment No. 7.) The court denied the petition, citing In re Lawrence, 44 Cal. 4th 1181 (2008.)*fn3 (Lodgment No. 8.) Jenson filed a petition for habeas corpus in the California Supreme Court. (Lodgment No. 9.) The California Supreme court denied without comment. (Lodgment No. 10.)
On April 7, 2010, Jenson filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in federal district court. (Pet. at 1.) Jenson claims the Board's decision violated (1) his due process rights because the Board lacked sufficient evidence to deny parole under California's "some evidence" standard, (2) his equal protection rights by denying him a fair and impartial hearing, and (3) the California Penal Code and California Code of Regulations. (Pet. at 5-8.) In opposition, Respondent argues that the Court should deny Jenson's claims because the state court decisions are neither contrary to, nor an unreasonable application of, clearly established law. (Answer at 3, 5-7.) Respondent also argues the Court should dismiss the additional claims because Jenson has not alleged sufficient facts to establish a equal protection claim (Id. at 3, 15) and the state law claims do not allege a federal question. (Id. at 3, 16.)
I. Scope of Review and Applicable Legal Standard.
A district court "may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). If a party objects to any portion of a magistrate judge's report, the district court "shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report . . . to which objection is made." Id. A federal court may review a petition for writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant to a state court judgment "only on the ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C § 2254(a); Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 375 n.7 (2000).
Jenson filed this petition after April 24, 1996, and therefore the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA") governs the petition. See Lindh v. Murphy, 521 U.S. 320, 327 (1997). The amended Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA") 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d) provides the following standard of review applicable to state court decisions: (d) An application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court shall not be granted with respect to any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in State court proceedings unless the adjudication of the claim--
(1) resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States; or
(2) resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence ...