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Name: In re Stevenson
Case #: H037850
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 02/08/2013

BPH properly denied parole where psychologist concluded that appellant had a “low to moderate” risk for violent recidivism. Stevenson was convicted of kidnaping to commit robbery and sentenced to an indeterminate life term in 1997. At a parole hearing in 2010, psychologist reports concluded that Stevenson presented a “low to moderate” risk for violent recidivism. Stevenson was denied parole. In a habeas petition, Stevenson argued that the Board found him unsuitable without “some evidence” of current dangerousness, and failed to provide a nexus between the negative report and the conclusion that he was currently dangerous. The superior court granted habeas relief, and the warden appealed. The appellate court reversed the order granting the habeas petition. There was no evidence that the psychologist’s risk assessment was faulty, or that the Board relied on the risk assessment only. The Board could reasonably conclude from the evidence presented that petitioner had not yet fully developed the insight and skills necessary to live in society without committing antisocial acts. There was a rational nexus between the evidence and the panel’s determination of current dangerousness. A modicum of evidence supported the decision to deny parole, and therefore the “some evidence” standard was satisfied.