A major disappointment in the Graziano v. Pataki federal civil rights case, which aims to restore justice and fairness to the parole hearings of inmates convicted of violent felonies.
GRAZIANO v. PATAKI update from the Prison Action Network:
On Friday, Dec 10 2010, Judge Seibel of the US District Court, Southern District of New York, dismissed the above-referenced case under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c). The court declined to follow the law of the case decided by the late Judge Brieant, and despite not finding a change in the applicable law, decided to follow a non-binding, unpublished opinion by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. In short, the judge stated that even if the NY Parole Board is violating state law by deciding that all those convicted of murder should be denied parole, it is a matter of concern for the state courts, not the federal constitution. Robert Isseks, Alex Smith and Peter Sell, the legal team representing Graziano et. al. intend to appeal this ruling.
Additionally, in September Judge McDonough in Albany State Supreme Court dismissed their claim on state law grounds. They plan to appeal to the Second Circuit.