Garner v. Jones, 529 U.S. 244, 5 (2000)

Page:   Index   Previous  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  Next

248

GARNER v. JONES

Opinion of the Court

and the "circumstances and nature of" the second offense. App. 53-54.

In 1995 the Parole Board determined that our decision in California Dept. of Corrections v. Morales, 514 U. S. 499 (1995), had rejected the rationale underlying the Eleventh Circuit's decision in Akins. The Board resumed scheduling parole reconsiderations at least every eight years, and so at respondent's 1995 review it set the next consideration for 2003. Had the Board wished to do so, it could have shortened the interval, but the 8-year period was selected based on respondent's "multiple offenses" and the "circumstances and nature of" his second offense. App. 54. Respondent, acting pro se, brought this action under Rev. Stat. 1979, 42 U. S. C. 1983, claiming, inter alia, the amendment to Rule 475-3-.05(2) violated the Ex Post Facto Clause. The suit was filed against individual members of the Parole Board, petitioners in this Court. Respondent requested leave to conduct discovery to support his claim, but the District Court denied the motion and entered summary judgment for petitioners. The court determined the amendment to Rule 475-3-.05(2) "change[d] only the timing between reconsideration hearings" for inmates sentenced to life in prison, thereby "relieving the Board of the necessity of holding parole hearings for prisoners who have no reasonable chance of being released." App. to Pet. for Cert. 27a. Because the Parole Board's policies permit inmates, upon a showing of "a change in their circumstance or where the Board receives new information," App. 56, to receive expedited reconsideration for parole, the court further concluded the amendment created " 'only the most speculative and attenuated possibility' " of increasing a prisoner's measure of punishment, App. to Pet. for Cert. 27a (quoting Morales, supra, at 509).

The Court of Appeals reversed, finding the amended Georgia Rule distinguishable in material respects from the California law sustained in Morales. 164 F. 3d 589 (CA11 1999). In finding the Georgia law violative of the Ex Post Facto

Page:   Index   Previous  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  Next

Last modified: October 4, 2007