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Name: In re Rosenkrantz
Case #: S104701
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 12/16/2002
Subsequent History: Cert. den. 4/21/03

A Governor’s decision granting or denying parole pursuant to his authority afforded by California Constitution Article V, section 8(b), which was added to the California Constitution in 1988, is subject to a limited judicial review to determine only whether the decision is supported by “some evidence.” The Governor does not have complete discretion over parole matters, and his decision is to be based upon the same factors the Board of Prison Terms (BPT) is required to consider. The limited judicial review does not violate the separation of powers doctrine, and ensures that parole decisions are supported by “a modicum of evidence and are not arbitrary or capricious.” In this case, the Governor’s decision reversing the BPT’s action granting parole was supported by some evidence in the record, and the record does not support the conclusion that the Governor’s decision resulted from a blanket policy denying parole in all cases. Further, petitioner’s ex post facto claim was not meritorious. Article V, section 8(b), simply created a new level of review which did not change the substantive standard for granting or denying parole. It is not the type of change to which the ex post facto clause applies. Justices Chin and Kennard dissented, finding that Rosenkrantz’s continued incarceration violates the rule against ex post facto laws.