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Name: In re Cerny
Case #: A122964
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 11/04/2009
Summary

The Parole Board’s decision to deny parole was upheld where appellant’s future parole plans were uncertain. Cerny was committed to state prison in 1980 for a term of 17 years to life for murder. While in prison, Cerny was drug free, participated in Narcotics Anonymous, has not been disciplined for breaking prison rules, had the lowest classification score possible and the most privileged form of prison custody allowable for his classification. In this appeal, he challenged the two most recent decisions denying him parole for the 13th and 14th time since he was first eligible. The primary issue was whether the board properly found Cerny unsuitable for parole because his post-release plans were indefinite. The appellate court found that in light of Cerny’s extensive history of drug abuse and dependence, the board’s concern about his uncertain future plans were justified. In reviewing the board’s decision, courts must not engage in balancing, but only look at whether the decision was supported by “some evidence” that the inmate’s release will endanger public safety.