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NJ Prisoner’s Rights Law Update

24
Dec
2010

by in Criminal Appeals

Jeffrey Cameron v. Parole Board, unpublished opinion, App. Div. Docket No. A-0349-09T2 (October 21, 2010) – “We affirm the denial of parole, but reverse the future parole eligibility term and remand to the Board to establish a parole eligible term that will make appellant eligible for parole consideration in no more than thirty-six months. Appellant is serving a life term for an aggravated manslaughter committed in 1983. He has completed the twenty-five-year period of parole ineligibility imposed as part of that sentence…. The Parole Board exercised its authority under this subsection to establish an extended 120 month future parole eligibility term…. We conclude that the Board abused its discretion in establishing such a lengthy future parole eligibility term. Although the Board denied appellant parole, it recognized that there were some mitigating circumstances in his case that show he is making progress in reducing the likelihood of future criminal behavior…. Under these circumstances, we perceive no basis for establishment of a future parole eligibility term any longer than thirty-six months. This conclusion is reinforced by the 2009 amendment to N.J.S.A. 30:4-123.56(a), which now precludes the Parole Board from establishing a future parole eligibility date that is ‘more than three years following the date on which an inmate was denied release.’ L. 2009, c. 330, § 6. Although this amendment was not effective when appellant’s future parole eligibility term was established, it reflects a legislative policy judgment that the kind of lengthy future eligibility term established in appellant’s case is not appropriate under any circumstances.”

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