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Name: In re Pugh
Case #: C066229
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/22/2012
Summary

Where it is determined there is not some evidence in the record to support the Governor’s decision to overrule the Board’s grant of parole, the proper remedy is to vacate the Governor’s decision and to reinstate that of the Board granting parole. Appellant was convicted of second degree murder in 1986 and sentenced to 15 years-to-life. The Board of Parole Hearings granted parole in October 2009, but the Governor reversed the grant the next month based on the heineous nature of the crime and the vulnerability of the victim. The trial court granted Pugh’s subsequent petition for writ of habeas corpus and the warden filed an appeal from the trial court action. In reviewing the record, the appellate court found that it did not contain the requisite “some evidence” that supported appellant’s claim that Pugh remained a threat to public safety. The evidence cited by appellant was either not supported by the record or did not establish a nexus with a finding of current dangerousness. Rather than remanding for another review by the Governor, the court found the appropriate remedy was to reinstate the Board’s finding of parole suitability and grant Pugh parole. (In re Copley (2011) 196 Cal.App.4th 427.)