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Name: In re Jacobson
Case #: B195521
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 08/28/2007
Subsequent History: rev. granted 12/12/07, S156416

The California Constitution (art. V, sec. 8, subd. (b)) and Penal Code section 3041.2 grant authority to the Governor to review the Board of Parole’s determination that an inmate is suitable for parole. The Governor’s review of the Board of Parole’s determination is restricted to the same factors the Board must consider and to the record presented to the Board, with judicial review of the Governor’s decision being “extremely deferential.” (In re Rosenkrantz (2002) 29 Cal.4th 616.)

The Board of Parole determined that then 80-year-old Jacobson convicted of second degree murder and attempted murder with firearm use in 1985 was suitable for parole but the Governor, considering the same factors and the same record, came to a different conclusion. The Governor determined that the committing offenses, in conjunction with Jacobson’s version of the offense, justified continued imprisonment as Jacobson still presented a threat to the community. The superior court granted Jacobson’s habeas petition and vacated the Governor’s decision to reverse the Board. On review, the appellate court, disagreeing with other appellate districts, found that the Governor had considered the factors and record that the Board had and, applying the extremely deferential standard, upheld the Governor’s decision. (See In re Cooper (Jul. 27,2007, A116437) __Cal.App.4th __; In re Lawrence (2007) 150 Cal.App.4th 1511; In re Elkins (2006) 144 Cal.App.4th 475.)