ATTORNEYS: For Plaintiff: Noah J. Kilroy, Esq.
Defendant: Jay Sullivan, Esq.
petition for post-conviction relief is brought by Jay Young
(Petitioner) pursuant to the provisions of G.L.1956 §
10-9.1-1, et seq. Petitioner claims that the Rhode
Island Parole Board (Board) denied him due process by denying
him parole without providing adequate justification or
explanation of the reason or reasons therefore. The State of
Rhode Island (State) opposes this petition and urges the
Court to sustain the Board's determination. The facts and
arguments of this case are strikingly similar to those
pertaining to a petition for post-conviction relief resolved
in Christopher Rocheleau v. State of Rhode Island,
C.A. No. KM-2014-0812 (R.I. Super. Ct. May 4, 2015) (Rubine,
J.). In Rocheleau, this Court denied a petition for
post-conviction relief presenting an identical claim-that a
petitioner was denied parole without adequate justification.
The same result should be applied in this case for the same
reasons relief was denied in Rocheleau. Accordingly,
the petition for post-conviction relief is denied. Petitioner
makes no attempt to distinguish the Rocheleau
decision or its rationale. In the absence of binding
appellate authority to the contrary, this Court must decide
like cases in like fashion.
following facts are gleaned from the verified petition filed
by Young. On March 31, 1998, Petitioner pled nolo
contendere to one count of second degree murder and one
count of conspiracy. Following the plea, Young was sentenced
to a term of sixty years imprisonment, with forty years to
serve and the remainder suspended with probation on the
second degree murder count, and ten years imprisonment on the
conspiracy count. Both sentences were set to run
22, 2015, Petitioner appeared for the first time before the
Board and was denied parole. In the minutes prepared by the
Board, the reason given for the denial was stated as follows:
"the Board acknowledges Mr. Young's remorse and
efforts at programming but must balance this with his
involvement in the purposeful beating and murder of an
innocent person, conspiracy to commit the murder, his going
to great lengths to conceal it[, ] and significant victim
impact on the family. The Board believes that to parole him
at this time would promote disrespect for the law.
Accordingly we will deny him but will reconsider him in five
years." Pet'r's Ex. A.
This language is alleged to be an insufficient statement of
the reasons for denying Petitioner's parole request as a
matter of law. There do not appear to be any disputes of
fact; the sole question submitted is the legal sufficiency of
the Board's reasons for the denial of Petitioner's
Supreme Court has held that objections to Parole Board
proceedings are reviewable in Superior Court by way of a
petition for post-conviction relief. State v.
Ouimette, 117 R.I. 361, 365-66, 367 A.2d 704, 707
(1976). This Court notes that the applicant for
post-conviction relief bears the burden of proving, by a
preponderance of the evidence, ...