United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
William T. Lawrence, Judge
petition of Pablo Pedraza for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No.
ISP 17-07-0358. On July 9, 2017, two inmates were assaulted
on the recreation yard at Indiana State Prison. They received
serious injuries that required treatment at outside
hospitals. Mr. Pedraza was charged with participating in the
attacks. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr.
Pedraza's habeas petition must be
in Indiana custody may not be deprived of good-time credits,
Cochran v. Buss, 381 F.3d 637, 639 (7th Cir. 2004)
(per curiam), or of credit-earning class, Montgomery v.
Anderson, 262 F.3d 641, 644-45 (7th Cir. 2001), without
due process. The due process requirement is satisfied with
the issuance of advance written notice of the charges, a
limited opportunity to present evidence to an impartial
decision-maker, a written statement articulating the reasons
for the disciplinary action and the evidence justifying it,
and “some evidence in the record” to support the
finding of guilt. Superintendent, Mass. Corr. Inst. v.
Hill, 472 U.S. 445, 454 (1985); Wolff v.
McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 570-71 (1974); Piggie v.
Cotton, 344 F.3d 674, 677 (7th Cir. 2003); Webb v.
Anderson, 224 F.3d 649, 652 (7th Cir. 2000).
The Disciplinary Proceeding
conduct giving rise to the discipline occurred while Mr.
Pedraza was housed at the Indiana State Prison. On July 19,
2017, Mr. Pedraza was charged in case ISP 17- 07-0358 with
offense A-102/111, conspiracy/attempt/aiding an
assault/battery with a weapon. The conduct report states:
On 7/9/2017, at approximately 4:30pm offender Pablo Pedraza
#178344 housed in BCH cell 534 went to recreation with his
housing unit BCH and units F-dorm and ICH and conspired and
or aided in the assault of offender Washington #978703 also
from BCH. Washington sustained severe bodily injuries from
the assault that required outside medical attention from a
local hospital. During the assault on Washington, offender
Hawkins #956724 from BCH also sustained severe bodily
injuries that required outside medical attention from another
hospital to treat his specific type of injuries.
An investigation was launched. During this altercation at
recreation in the rec yard, Pedraza was seen kicking
Washington while Washington lay on the ground by the
basketball court. Pedraza was seen with a weapon (knife) in
his hand as he attempted to run away from staff as the area
was being secured. Pedraza was seen discarding the weapon and
the weapon was found in the outside bathroom where Pedraza
was seen discarding it. Pedraza was also seen using the
horseshoes as weapons.
Pedraza participated in STG activity with three (3) other
Latin King members for this offense.
Dkt. No. 8-1. After the assault, Mr. Pedraza was transferred
to Wabash Valley, where the disciplinary process continued.
August 4, 2017, Mr. Pedraza was notified of the charge of
conspiracy/attempt/aiding in an assault/battery with a weapon
and served with a copy of the conduct report and screening
report. Mr. Pedraza was advised of his rights, pleaded not
guilty, and declined the option to have a lay advocate
appointed. Mr. Pedraza requested witness statements from
inmates Mr. Mueller and Mr. Washington, and he also requested
a video review. Dkt. No. 8-2.
Pedraza's disciplinary hearing was postponed once because
Wabash Valley was waiting to hear back from the State Prison
concerning the video request. On August 16, 2017, the
screening officer received an email from personnel at the
State Prison confirming that no video was available because
there were no video cameras in the area of the yard where the
assault occurred. Dkt. No. 8-4.
screening officer obtained statements from Mr. Mueller and
Mr. Washington. Mr. Mueller stated:
Pablo Pedraza had nothing to do with the incident that took
place on July 9, 2017. It was a simple case of being in the
wrong place at the right time. If you want to be honest
he's a victim who got assault because he was in the wrong
place at the wrong time. Furthermore the conduct says the
incident occurred at 4:30pm on the rec yard but the facility
was on ...