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Tasci v. New Jersey State Parole Board

January 27, 2009

KEREM TASCI, APPELLANT,
v.
NEW JERSEY STATE PAROLE BOARD, RESPONDENT.



On appeal from a final decision of the New Jersey State Parole Board.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted: December 17, 2008

Before Judges C.L. Miniman and King.

Appellant Kerem Tasci, an inmate at Mid-State Correctional Facility, appeals from a Final Decision of the New Jersey State Parole Board denying him parole and establishing a fourteen-month future eligibility term (FET). We affirm.

Tasci had been convicted of two counts of attempted luring of a child in a motor vehicle and five counts of criminal attempt and sentence on September 22, 2006, to eight concurrent years on the two convictions of attempted luring, community supervision for life under Megan's Law, N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2, and parole supervision for life under the Violent Predator Incapacitation Act of 1994, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6.4. Two of the criminal-attempt convictions were merged with the two attempted-luring convictions for sentencing purposes and defendant was sentenced to various concurrent terms up to eight years on the remaining counts.

Tasci first became eligible for parole in 2007 and on August 23, 2007, a two-member panel of the Parole Board denied parole and established a twelve-month FET. The panel found that there was a reasonable expectation that Tasci would violate the conditions of parole if he were released. It found five mitigating factors, including the absence of any prior criminal record or a minimal criminal record; infraction-free incarceration; participation in programs specific to his behavior; participation in institutional programs; and an attempt to enroll and participate in a program where he was not admitted. The panel denied parole because the nature of the criminal record was increasingly more serious, with the female victim assumed by defendant to be thirteen years old; presently incarcerated for multi-crime convictions; insufficient problem resolution due to lack of insight into his criminal behavior, minimization of conduct, and although he understood the need for insight, he did not yet have true insight; and the lack of an adequate parole plan to assist in successful reintegration into the community. The panel suggested that Tasci participate in one-to-one counseling and sex-offense programs. The panel reconsidered its decision on January 31, 2008, to extend the FET to fourteen months based on an error in calculating the FET.*fn1

Tasci, raising a number of issues, appealed the denial of parole to the full Parole Board, which affirmed the panel's decision and the fourteen-month FET on February 28, 2008. The Parole Board issued the following written decision:

Although there are several mitigating factors in your case, the full Board found that the Panel had an obligation to consider that you are presently incarcerated for a multi[-]crime conviction and the nature of the present conviction is serious, whereby you assumed the victim was a 13-year[-]old girl. Be advised that the Panel reconsidered your case on January 31, 2008 and decided to affirm its decision to deny parole, but to amend the Notice of Decision to clearly indicate that it considered the serious nature and circumstances of the present offense as a reason for parole denial. . . .

Furthermore, the full Board found that the Panel appropriately considered that you lack an adequate parole plan to assist in successful reintegration into the community and based on your response to questions posed by the Panel at the time of the hearing, the Panel concluded that you minimize your conduct and lack insight into your criminal behavior. Regarding your statement in reference to the institutional psychological report and the A.D.T.C. evaluation, be advised that pursuant to N.J.A.C. 10A:71-2.1(d), these reports are a matter of record and are classified as confidential and disclosure may be withheld. The full Board is not at liberty to comment on these reports. However, the full Board found that although the Panel reviewed this information, the Panel did not cite as a reason for parole denial, confidential material/professional report relief upon.

The full Board found that you have not identified any specific information to support your claim that a Board member participating in the deliberations or disposition of your case has demonstrated personal interest or demonstrated prejudice or bias in your case or that a Board member participating in the deliberations or disposition of your case has failed to comply with the Board's Professional Code of Conduct.

The full Board found that pursuant to N.J.A.C. 10A:71-3.11(c), the hearing officer or Board Panel is required to note your immigration detainer, however, this is not grounds for denial of parole. The Panel did not base their decision to deny parole on the immigration detainer nor are they mandated to release you to the Federal authorities for deportation. The same standards used to determine parole release to the community also apply to parole release to detainers. The Panel is required to review your case under the same statutory standard for review as in all cases pursuant to N.J.A.C. 10A:71-3.10(b), which in your case, requires the Panel to determine if there is a reasonable expectation that you will violate conditions of parole, if released on parole. The full Board found that although you claim that you have the support of your family in your country, your current plan to be a placement case, does not provide an adequate parole plan to assist in successful reintegration into the community.

Based upon consideration of the facts cited above, the full Board has determined that the Adult Panel has considered the aggregate of information pursuant to N.J.A.C. 10A:71-3.11 and fully documented and supported its decision for denying parole pursuant to N.J.A.C. 10A:71-3.18(f). Also, the full Board found that the Adult Panel's decision is based upon a determination that a preponderance of the evidence indicates that there ...


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