Washington v. Board of Parole

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Sentencing
  • Date Filed: 02-04-2015
  • Case #: A153074
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Hadlock, J. for the Court; Sercomb, P.J.; & Tookey, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under the parole matrix system, the Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision has statutory authority to determine whether those prison terms would be served consecutively or concurrently, and may revisit or recalculate earlier opinions.

Petitioner challenges an order of the Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision "the Board". Petitioner contends that the Board erred by recalculating his prison term during a recent prison term hearing. When petitioner was sentenced, Oregon used a “parole matrix” system for establishing the actual term of imprisonment for most felony offenders. Under the matrix system, the Board, not the sentencing court determined the actual duration of the imprisonment. When a court imposed consecutive sentences, the Board had statutory authority to determine whether those prison terms would be served consecutively or concurrently. Opinions reached under this authority are referred to as “summing” or “unsumming” by the board. After a hearing in 2011, the board calculated the base matrix range for petitioner’s convictions and aggravating factors from a total of 180 months to 356 months. Petitioner sought administrative review of the Board’s decision, arguing that the board improperly “resumed” matrix terms for felonies which had been “unsummed” in 2000. The administrative review board denied relief petitioner because the 2011 hearing was de novo, following appellate court directives, and supersedes the 2000 hearing. On appeal, the Court of Appeals held that petitioner’s challenge is not properly before the court because petitioner does not acknowledge the board’s general authority to reconsider orders, or cite why the board lacks authority to revisit a decision. Affirmed

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