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Medrano v. United States Parole Commission

United States District Court, D. Arizona

February 13, 2015

Jaime B. Medrano, Petitioner,
v.
United States Parole Commission, Respondent.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

LESLIE A. BOWMAN, Magistrate Judge.

Pending before the court is a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to Title 28, United States Code, Section 2241, filed by Jaime B. Medrano, an inmate confined in the United States Penitentiary in Tucson, AZ. (Doc. 1)

Also pending are the petitioner's motions to (1) amend the petition, (2) summarily decide the issue of exhaustion, and (3) hold an evidentiary hearing on the exhaustion issue. (Docs. 15, 16, 21)

Pursuant to the Rules of Practice of this Court, this matter was referred to Magistrate Judge Bowman for a Report and Recommendation.

The petition should be dismissed for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. In the alternative, the petition should be denied on the merits.

SUMMARY OF THE CASE

Medrano was convicted by a U.S. Army general court-martial of rape; premeditated murder; indecent, lewd, and lascivious acts; and possession of LSD. (Doc 19-1, p. 2) He was sentenced to life imprisonment on February 6, 1981. Id.

Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4206(d), a person sentenced to life imprisonment should be released on parole after serving thirty years of his sentence unless the Parole Commission "determines that [the prisoner] has seriously or frequently violated institutional rules and regulations or that there is a reasonable probability that he will commit any Federal, State, or local crime." Accordingly, the Parole Commission held a parole hearing on August 11, 2011, Medrano's thirty-year anniversary. (Doc. 19-1, p. 14) The Commission denied Medrano parole in a notice dated February 2, 2012. (Doc. 19-1, p. 18) Medrano appealed to the National Appeals Board, which affirmed the decision denying parole. (Doc. 19-1, p. 20)

On February 4, 2014, Medrano had his next parole hearing, which is the subject of the pending petition. (Doc. 19-1, p. 24) The Commission found Medrano has "continued to minimize the offense behavior by denying any involvement in the base offense, and [was] terminated from the sex offender maintenance group for disruptive behavior and declined BOP staff recommendation to re-enroll in sex offender treatment." (Doc. 19-1, p. 26) The Commission therefore concluded there is a likelihood Medrano will commit further crimes if released. Id. The Commission further found Medrano has "continued to commit serious institutional infractions as recently as October 2012, when [he] made a sexually suggestive act and comment towards a female staff member." Id. Accordingly, the Commission denied Medrano parole pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4206(d). Id. Medrano did not appeal the decision of the Commission to the National Appeals Board. He maintains he did not receive a timely copy of the decision.

On August 20, 2014, Medrano filed the pending petition for writ of habeas corpus. (Doc. 1) Medrano argues (1) he never received a written copy of the Commission's decision subsequent to the hearing on February 4, 2014; (2) he should be awarded parole automatically because the Commission has not made an adverse finding pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4206(d); (3) he was denied meaningful representation; and (4) the institution has done nothing to help him secure clemency pursuant to BOP (Bureau of Prisons) program statement 5110.16. Id.

On December 9, 2014, Medrano filed a motion to amend the petition to name the proper respondent. (Doc. 15) Medrano seeks to name as respondent the warden of his institution instead of the U.S. Parole Commission. Id.

Also on December 9, 2014, Medrano filed a motion to "summarily decide the issue of exhaustion." (Doc. 16) Medrano maintains he did not exhaust his issues because he did not receive a written decision from the Commission and therefore "he has nothing to appeal'." (Doc. 16, p. 2)

The respondent filed an answer on December 17, 2014 arguing Medrano failed to exhaust his administrative remedies and, in the alternative, the petition should be denied on the merits. (Doc. 19) Medrano did not file a reply brief.

On January 7, 2015, Medrano filed a motion calling for an evidentiary hearing to resolve factual matters related to the exhaustion issue. (Doc. 21) He insists he did not receive a timely[1] copy of the Commission's decision denying him parole. Id. He also argues he was represented at his parole hearing by his case manager, Mrs. Diaz. Id. The Commissioner maintains Medrano was ...


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