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Restrepo v. New Jersey State Parole Board

October 9, 2008

ORLANDO RESTREPO,*FN1 APPELLANT,
v.
NEW JERSEY STATE PAROLE BOARD, RESPONDENT.



On appeal from the New Jersey State Parole Board.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted September 15, 2008

Before Judges Reisner and Sapp-Peterson.

Orlando Restrepo is an inmate incarcerated at Northern State Prison. He appeals from the final administrative decision of the Parole Board (Board) affirming the two-member Board Panel (panel) determination denying parole and establishing an eighteen-month future parole eligibility term (FET). We reverse with direction.

Restrepo's conviction arose out of a surveillance operation conducted in Linden where Restrepo was observed engaged in drug transactions. While he was being detained for further investigation, suspected narcotics were seized from his pocket. When questioned as to whether there were more drugs in his residence, he responded "yes" and gave officers permission to search his residence where they uncovered suspected cocaine, $50,000 in cash, and narcotics paraphernalia. He pled guilty to two counts of manufacturing and distributing a controlled dangerous substance. He was sentenced to serve two sixteen-year concurrent custodial sentences with two minimum mandatory periods of parole ineligibility totaling forty-six months.

In 2007, the panel reviewed Restrepo's suitability for parole. The panel denied parole and established an eighteen-month FET. The panel based its decision on the fact that Restrepo was serving a multi-crime conviction and that his record contained evidence of insufficient problem resolution in connection with his insight into his criminal behavior. The panel also observed "i/m [inmate] had an education and the smarts to make it in his native country (Columbia), but instead he stayed illegally in the US and became a major drug dealer." The panel found, as mitigating factors, Restrepo's lack of a prior criminal record, his infraction-free institutional record, average to above average institutional reports, and his participation in institutional programs tailored to his behavior.

Restrepo appealed the panel's determination to the full Board. The Board affirmed the panel's decision. The present appeal followed.

Restrepo raises the following points for our consideration:

POINT I

THE NEW JERSEY STATE PAROLE BOARD VIOLATED MY CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS WHEN THEY ERRED WHEN USING INACCURATE INFORMATION WHEN CONSIDERING PETITIONER'S PAROLE HEARING OF NOVEMBER 11, 1998, AND SUBSEQUENT REVIEW HEARING[]S PURSUANT TO N.J.A.C. 10:71-4(a)(1), (2) & 10:71-4[](2)(1).

POINT II

THE USE OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION DURING MY LAST FET, AND CURRENT ANNUAL REVIEWS, IS A VIOLATION OF MY 6TH ...


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