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New Jersey State Parole Board v. Bynes

Decided: March 2, 1984.

NEW JERSEY STATE PAROLE BOARD, RESPONDENT,
v.
SAMUEL E. BYNES, JR., APPELLANT



On appeal from a Final Administrative Determination of the Parole Board.

Matthews, J. H. Coleman and Gaulkin.

Per Curiam

Appellant Bynes is an inmate of the New Jersey State Prison at Rahway and is serving a term of 28-40 years with a consecutive life sentence. On May 23, 1972 appellant was granted a "cell parole" on the 28-40 year term and began serving his life term.

Thereafter the 1979 Parole Act, N.J.S.A. 30:4-123.45, was enacted into law and became effective April 20, 1980. Section 7(h) of the Act, N.J.S.A. 30:4-123.51(h), provided that for inmates sentenced to more than one term of imprisonment, the individual parole eligibility terms of the sentences were to be aggregated for the purpose of determining a single parole eligibility date. Consequently, a question arose as to whether the aggregation provision of the act applied to inmates serving a life sentence, which is consecutive to another sentence and imposed prior to the effective date of the act.

The Attorney General's Office advised the Board that all life sentences which were consecutive to other sentences, including other life sentences, should be aggregated to determine a single

parole eligibility date whether or not the sentences were imposed prior to the effective date of the Parole Act of 1979.

The Board concluded that the requirement of aggregation contained in N.J.S.A. 30:4-123.51(h) applied to persons who were serving sentences at the time the 1979 Parole Act was enacted. Accordingly, it was necessary for the Board to vacate cell-paroles instituted after the effective date of the 1979 Parole Act (April 21, 1980).

Thereafter, on September 18, 1981, appellant wrote to the Parole Board and requested that his sentence be aggregated for purposes of determining a single parole eligibility date. Appellant was advised on November 23, 1981 that since he had received a cell parole prior to the effective date of the act he was not serving an "active custodial term" for aggregation purposes.

Appellant sought leave to appeal the decision of the Parole Board not to aggregate his sentences and this court granted his motion to proceed as an indigent on January 20, 1982.

Appellant's single contention in this matter is that if he were subject to the provisions regarding aggregation of sentences contained in the 1979 Parole Act he would be considered for parole, and possibly released, earlier than he now will be. Hence, appellant claims that he is entitled to take advantage of the aggregation sections of the act.

In the case at bar appellant asserts that the aggregation provision of the 1979 Parole Act, Section 7(h) N.J.S.A. 30:4-123.51(h) should be applied to his case. Appellant was granted a parole, albeit "cell parole," ...


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