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Name: In re McGraw
Case #: F054655
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 02/19/2009

The fundamental consideration in assessing whether a prisoner is suitable for parole is public safety. The Board of Parole must grant the applicant parole unless it determines that public safety requires a lengthier period of incarceration. California Code of Regulations, title 15, section 2281, subdivisions (c) and (d) provide a listing of circumstances that tend to show whether the applicant is suitable for parole but the ultimate issue is whether there is some evidence supporting a conclusion of unsuitability. Petitioner was convicted of the second degree murder of his adult stepson in 1981. At a 2007 hearing held prior to the Supreme Court’s clarification of the law of parole suitability (In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal.4th 1181 and In re Shaputis (2008) 44 Cal.4th 1241), the board found petitioner unsuitable for parole despite what appeared from the record to be an absence of threat to public safety by petitioner. Stressing that it took no position as to suitability, the appellate court reversed and remanded for consideration with respect to Lawrence and Shaputis.