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Thomas v. New Jersey State Parole Board

August 22, 2007

WILLIAM THOMAS, APPELLANT,
v.
NEW JERSEY STATE PAROLE BOARD, DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, RESPONDENT.



On appeal from the New Jersey State Parole Board.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted August 14, 2007

Before Judges S.L. Reisner and Lyons.

Appellant, William Thomas (Thomas), a New Jersey State prisoner, appeals from the February 24, 2006 final administrative decision of respondent, New Jersey State Parole Board (Board), denying him parole and establishing a future eligibility term (FET) of eighty-four months. The relevant facts and procedural history are as follows.

On May 6, 1980, Thomas committed a double homicide. His victims were a seventeen-year-old male and a fifteen-year-old female. They were killed by blunt force trauma with a tire iron. Following the murder, Thomas and his accomplice fled the scene and went to Maine and then Arizona. In July 1980, Thomas enlisted in the United States Army and was subsequently transferred to duty in Germany. He was arrested on July 28, 1981 and then extradited to the United States. On February 1, 1982, he pled non vult to two counts of murder. On February 19, 1982, he was sentenced to two concurrent life sentences.

On July 7, 1995, Thomas was denied parole at his initial parole hearing and was given an FET of 120 months. Thomas was again denied parole on June 21, 2001 and given an FET of eighty-four months. Both of these decisions were affirmed by the Board. On July 18, 2005, an Adult Panel of the Board denied Thomas parole and referred his case to a three member panel for the establishment of an FET. On September 21, 2005, the three member panel established an eighty-four month FET. On February 24, 2006, the Board affirmed the Adult Panel's July 18, 2005 decision to deny parole and refer the case to the three member panel for the establishment of an FET and the three member panel's September 21, 2005 decision to establish an eighty-four month FET. This appeal ensued.

On appeal, Thomas presents the following arguments for our consideration:

POINT I: APPELLANT HAS BEEN DENIED PAROLE, IN HIS 3rd ATTEMPT FOR PAROLE, WITHOUT ANY INTERVENING FACTORS, AND BEYOND THE ADMINISTRATIVE GUIDELINES, WITHOUT CLEARLY DEMONSTRATING A LIKELIHOOD TO COMMIT ANOTHER CRIME, IS ARBITRARY, CAPRICIOUS, AND [VIOLATIVE] OF APPELLANT'S "DUE PROCESS" AND EX POST FACTO RIGHTS.

POINT II: THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND PAROLE BOARD'S FAILURE TO ALLOW THE APPELLANT TO RECEIVE FULL MINIMUM, AND EVENTUALLY HALFWAY HOUSE STATUS, HAS EFFECTIVELY DENIED APPELLANT THE ABILITY TO SEEK HIS FULL REHABILITATIVE POTENTIAL. THEREBY DENYING THE APPELLANT PAROLE.

POINT III: THE BOARDS RELIANCE ON THE UNCONTROVERTED CONFIDENTIAL PROFESSIONAL REPORTS; FAILURE TO ALLOW APPELLANT TO CONFRONT HIS ACCUSER; AND FAILURE TO PROVIDE APPELLANT WITH THE MEANS OF COUNTERING [THEIR] OPINIONS, AND ALLEGATIONS, VIOLATES APPELLANT'S 6th AMENDMENT RIGHT TO CONFRONT ANY ACCUSER, AND 14th AMENDMENT RIGHT TO "DUE PROCESS".

POINT IV: APPELLANT PROCEEDING AT A CRITICAL STAGE WITHOUT COUNSEL IS A VIOLATION OF HIS 6th AMENDMENT RIGHT TO COUNSEL, AND 14th AMENDMENT RIGHT TO "DUE PROCESS" OF LAW. POINT V: RESPONDENTS DENIED APPELLANT HIS 14th AMENDMENT RIGHT TO "DUE PROCESS" AS EXAMPLED THROUGH APPRENDI, AND IT[S] PROGENY, BY INTRODUCING ALLEGATIONS OUTSIDE OF ANY FACTS ASCERTAINED FROM THE RECORD BEFORE THE GRAND JURY, AND SUBSEQUENT SENTENCING COURT.

POINT VI: APPELLANT DENIES THE SUBSTANTIVE REASONS THAT THE PAROLE BOARD HAS DENIED PAROLE AS PROVIDED BY THE ...


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