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Name: Styre v. Adams
Case #: 09-15782
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 06/06/2011

Where prisoner receives constitutionally adequate procedural protection, a separate hearing is not required before the governor can reverse a grant of parole. Styre was convicted in 1982 of first degree murder and sentenced to 27 years to life. In 2005 the California Board of Prison Terms (BPT) found him eligible for parole and set a tentative release date. Several months later, Governor Schwarzenegger reversed the BPT’s decision. The Ninth Circuit found Styre’s claims foreclosed by the U.S.S.C.’s decision in Swarthout v. Cooke (2011) 131 S.Ct. 859, which held the responsibility for assuring constitutionally adequate protections for parole procedures rests with the state courts. Due process requirements are satisfied if the state accords the inmate an opportunity to be heard and a statement of reasons why parole was denied. As Styre does not contend he was denied these procedural protections, he is without a remedy in federal court. His case is not distinguishable because the Governor, rather than the BPT, denied his request for parole. The Due Process Clause does not require that the Governor hold a second suitability hearing before reversing a BPT decision to grant parole.