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Name: In re Reed
Case #: A118575
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 03/05/2009

A minor violation of a prison rule may support a finding of unsuitability for parole. In 1984, petitioner and his brother prowled the streets looking for someone to rob and came upon a prostitute and the victim engaged in sexual intercourse in the victim’s truck. As the prostitute tried to give petitioner a $20 bill, petitioner’s brother shot and killed the victim. Petitioner was convicted of first degree felony murder with a firearm enhancement and sentenced to prison for 26 years to life. Over the course of his incarceration, he had numerous rule violations, the most recent being in 2005 for activating a smoke detector. At a 2005 parole hearing, he was found to be unsuitable but told to remain discipline free for one year and the board would reconsider. Nevertheless, within four months he received a report for leaving work without permission, and at the 2006 hearing, the board found petitioner unsuitable. The appellate court upheld the finding, noting that the board can consider whether an inmate can comply with conditions of parole in determining risk to public safety. Here, petitioner’s misconduct provided some evidence of unsuitability as it showed he would/could not follow conditions of parole.