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Bakley v. New Jersey State Parole Board

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


February 23, 2009

RONALD BAKLEY, APPELLANT,
v.
NEW JERSEY STATE PAROLE BOARD, RESPONDENT.

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

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted February 4, 2009

Before Judges Lyons and Waugh.

Appellant Ronald Bakley appeals from the decision of the New Jersey State Parole Board (Board) denying parole and imposing a sixteen-month future parole eligibility term (FET). We affirm.

In 1995, Bakley pled guilty to one count of armed robbery and was sentenced to a term of thirty years. He was subsequently paroled in 2001. He violated his parole on two separate occasions, in 2002 and 2004, and was returned to prison in January 2004. He is currently serving a parole violation term of nine years, six months, and twenty-five days.

Bakley became eligible for parole for the third time on November 6, 2007, after having served approximately three years and four months on his sentence. On June 1, 2007, Bakley's initial hearing was convened, but the hearing officer referred the matter to a Board panel as required by N.J.A.C. 10A:71-3.15(b).*fn1

On June 14, 2007, a two-member panel of the Board considered Bakley's case, denied parole and established a sixteen-month FET.*fn2 The two-member panel based its decision on the following factors: Bakley's repetitive prior criminal record; prior opportunities on probation and parole had failed to deter his criminal behavior; prior opportunities on probation and parole had been violated; prior incarceration had failed to deter his criminal behavior; and insufficient problem resolution, including a lack of insight into his criminal behavior and a failure to sufficiently address a substance abuse problem. Regarding mitigating factors, the Board noted that Bakley had been infraction-fee since his return to custody, had participated in programs specific to behavior, and had average to above-average institutional reports.

On August 7, 2007, Bakley appealed the two-member panel's decision to the full Board. On November 30, 2007, the full Board affirmed the denial of parol and the imposition of a sixteen-month FET.

The Board's decisions are "highly individualized discretionary appraisals, and should only be reversed if found to be arbitrary or capricious." Hare v. New Jersey State Parole Bd., 368 N.J. Super. 175, 179-80 (App. Div.) (internal citations and quotation marks omitted), certif. denied, 180 N.J. 452 (2004). We have considered each of appellant's arguments in light of the record and applicable law. The Board's decision is affirmed essentially for the reasons stated in the Board's letter decision of November 30, 2007. We are satisfied that the arguments raised on appeal are without sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(E).

Affirmed.


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