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Name: In re Cortinas
Case #: H025526
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/13/2004
Subsequent History: 6/10/04 Rehrg. gr.; Rev. gr. 7/26/04

The Prison Board’s finding that a convicted murderer was unsuitable for parole was supported by “some evidence,” and therefore a court had no authority to reverse that finding and set a parole date. The prisoner in this case sought habeas relief after the Prison Board denied him parole in spite of his having remained discipline-free for a number of years and despite his progress in some areas of his rehabilitation, and a writ issued upon a finding that the Board’s decision was contrary to the evidence presented at the prisoner’s parole hearings. The court hearing the writ petition had further found that the Board’s decision was influenced by an alleged no-parole policy adopted by the governor. The appellate court reversed the order issuing the writ, first holding that the finding regarding the governor’s parole policy was contrary to the decision in In re Rosenkrantz (2002) 29 Cal.4th 616, decided after the issuance of the writ in this case. Further, the court found that because the Board’s decision to deny parole was supported by some evidence (i.e., circumstances of the original crime, as well as the prisoner’s failure to make realistic employment plans) showing the prisoner’s unsuitability for parole, the trial court erred in reversing the Board’s decision.