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Name: In re Morrall
Case #: C040322
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/23/2002
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 11/27/02; case below modified at 102 Cal.App.4th 1061a

In 1983 appellant began serving a life term for the second degree murder of his wife. In 1999, the Board of Prison Terms found that Morrall was suitable for parole. Governor Davis reversed the Board’s decision pursuant to his power under Penal Code section 3041.2. In 2001, Morral was again found suitable, and the Governor again reversed the Board’s decision. Here, the appellate court denied appellant’s petition for writ of habeas corpus. Based on the facts of the case, it could not be found that the Governor’s decision had no basis in fact or was unsupported by the evidence. His review of the Board’s decision did not violate principles of due process or the prohibition against ex post facto laws. Although a blanket policy to deny parole would be unlawful, political rhetoric does not establish a blanket policy. The Governor’s “fidelity in the performance of the duties of his office” must be presumed absent evidence to the contrary.