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Name: In re Colonel
Case #: H037166
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/06/2012
Subsequent History: Review denied and ordered not published
Summary

Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) wrongly denies parole where there is no evidence of a nexus between inmate’s evasive responses and a finding of current dangerousness. The inmate was convicted in 1988 of second degree murder when a 20-year-old woman he surreptitiously induced to ingest PCP died of an overdose. In June 2010, the superior court granted the inmate’s writ petition, vacating BPH’s decision to deny parole. The warden appealed. Held: Affirmed and remanded for new hearing. The warden argued that BPH’s finding that the inmate was “deceitful” provided a basis for denial of parole regardless of whether the record contains some evidence of current dangerousness. Although the inmate may have been less than candid or evasive regarding collateral matters discussed at the hearing, there was no rational nexus cited by BPH between the inmate’s alleged lack of credibility and the determination he remains a current danger. The matters cited by BPH as examples of the inmate’s failure to “come to grips” with his life crime were collateral to the crime or its causative factors. The BPH’s recitation of a fact, without any articulated link between that fact and a determination of current dangerousness, is insufficient to support a determination the inmate is unsuitable for parole.