United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
NOAH R. ROBINSON, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES PAROLE COMMISSION, Respondent.
ENTRY DISMISSING ACTION AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
WILLIAM T. LAWRENCE, District Judge.
The Seventh Circuit has held that under the mandatory language of the federal parole statute, 18 U.S.C. § 4206(a), an inmate has an expectation of parole that is worthy of due process protection. Solomon v. Elsea, 676 F.2d 282, 285 (7th Cir. 1982); see also Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471, 482 (1972). It is the vindication of this interest which brings Noah Robinson ("Robinson") to seek a writ of habeas corpus.
Robinson is confined in this District serving the executed portion of various sentences imposed by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. See United States v. Boyd, 208 F.3d 638 (7th Cir. 2001) (affirming Robinson's convictions); United States v. Green, 6 Fed.Appx. 377 (7th Cir. 2001) (unpublished disposition)(reinstating original judgments against Robinson and his co-defendants after Apprendi remand); United States v. Robinson, 55 Fed.Appx. 781 (7th Cir. 2003)(unpublished disposition)(rejecting Robinson's claim that the trial court reduced his sentence from life imprisonment to a term of ten years). The history of the case can be found in United States v. Boyd, 208 F.3d 638 (7th Cir. 2000), though the most recent chapters in the criminal case are found at United States v. Green, 6 Fed.Appx. 377 (7th Cir. 2001) (unpublished order), and United States v. Robinson, 251 F.3d 594 (7th Cir. 2001).
Robinson's convictions in No. 89-CR-908-31 included "old law" sentences (based on offenses committed prior to November 1, 1987) as well as "new law" sentences (based on offenses committed after November 1, 1987). He was eligible for parole only as to the old law sentences.
Robinson's old law sentences commenced on December 20, 1990, although he was given credit toward those sentences from October 27, 1989 through December 19, 1990. The same is true as to the commencement and the credit toward the new law sentences in No. 89-CR-908-31.
Robinson completed the old law sentences from No. 89-CR-908-31 on March 19, 1994 and completed his new law sentences in No. 89-CR-908-31 on January 18, 1995. Robinson was then transferred from federal custody to the custody of South Carolina authorities. He was placed in federal custody on March 29, 1995 pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum.
There was a retrial in No. 89-CR-908-31. Once again, Robinson was convicted and received both "old law" and "new law" sentences.
Robinson's later motion for relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 was denied. His request for the issuance of a certificate of appealability from that disposition was denied in United States v. Robinson, 2004 WL 557389 (N.D.Ill. March 22, 2004). In this latter case, Judge Holderman commented from the trial and sentencing records on the type and quantities of illegal drugs (heroin and cocaine) which were, from "the overwhelming evidence, " reasonably attributable to Robinson. These quantities, together with the murder of Mr. Barber as a racketeering act, drove the statutory maximum sentences to life.
Robinson contested the calculation of his sentence by the Bureau of Prisons in a prior action for habeas corpus relief. Robinson v. Veach, No. 2:07-cv-215-LJM-JMS (S.D.Ind. Feb. 13, 2008)("the prior habeas action"). His petition was denied based on the finding that there was no error in the computation of his sentence. There was no direct appeal taken from that decision, but the denial of relief he sought pursuant to Rule 60(b) was affirmed on appeal.
Robinson became eligible for parole consideration with respect to his old law convictions in 2006 but did not apply for such consideration until 2011. The Commission conducted an initial parole hearing for Robinson on May 4, 2011. The paroling policy guidelines found at 28 C.F.R. § 2.20 indicate the customary range of time to be served before release for various combinations of offense and offender characteristics.
The Commission's hearing examiner determined that Robinson's offense severity category was Eight because the offense involved aiding and abetting and interstate travel to commit murder. Applying Robinson's offense severity category and his salient factor score of 7, Robinson's parole guidelines required 120 plus months to be served before parole. See 28 C.F.R. § 2.20, Guidelines for Decision-Making Table.
On July 7, 2011, the Commission decided to continue petitioner to expiration. Because this decision required Robinson to serve more than 48 months above the minimum of the guidelines range, the Commission provided pertinent case factors for its decision, stating that Robinson's offense conduct involved interstate travel to commit ...