Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Snell v. State

Superior Court of Rhode Island

July 20, 2016

CURLEY SNELL Petitioner,
v.
STATE OF RHODE ISLAND Defendant.

         Newport County Superior Court

          For Plaintiff: Matthew S. Dawson, Esq.

          For Defendant: Jeanine P. McConaghy, Esq.

          DECISION

          NUGENT, J.

         The matter presently before the Court is Petitioner Curley Snell's (Snell or Petitioner) Application for Post-Conviction Relief. The Petitioner claims the Rhode Island Parole Board (the Board) failed to adhere to the requirements of Rhode Island law and due process by denying him parole without providing sufficient justification for its decision. He now asks this Court to order a new parole hearing because of that perceived deficiency. Jurisdiction is pursuant to G.L. 1956 § 10-9.1-2.

         I FACTS & TRAVEL

         On March 19, 2001, Snell was charged with one count of felony domestic assault (Count 1), two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon (Counts 2 and 3), and one count of simple domestic assault after previously having been convicted twice of domestic assault (Count 4). On December 11, 2001, a jury convicted Snell on all charges and, on March 22, 2002, Snell was sentenced to a total of forty-five years, thirty years to serve and the remaining fifteen years suspended, with fifteen years' probation. Specifically, the Court sentenced Snell to serve fifteen years on Count 1 and a consecutive fifteen years to serve on Count 3. On Count 2, the Court imposed a fifteen-year suspended sentence, with fifteen years of probation to commence upon his release from the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI). Lastly, on Count 4, Snell was sentenced to ten years, of which five years was to serve concurrent to Count 1 and five years thereafter suspended, with probation to commence upon his release from the ACI.[1]

         Snell has been serving his sentence at the ACI for roughly fifteen years. In that time, he has twice gone before the Board. The first time, in 2011, the Board voted to deny parole. In explaining its decision, the Board stated that it "[wa]s the first time Mr. Snell ha[d] come before the Board on this serious offense." See Pet'r's Ex. A. Again, in 2014, Snell went before the Board seeking parole. This time, the Board noted that its denial was "due to the serious nature of Mr. Snell's crime, the length of his sentence and the opposition from the Attorney General's Office." Id.[2]

         On October 23, 2014, Snell filed the instant Petition with this Court seeking post-conviction relief based on the Board's repeated denial of his parole. In his Post Conviction Memorandum, filed April 20, 2016, Petitioner argues that the Board's April 16, 2014 decision to deny parole was in violation of the Rhode Island General Laws, the Rhode Island Parole Board Guidelines, and his due process and equal protection rights provided for by the state and federal constitutions. There is no dispute as to the above facts. Rather, Petitioner argues that the Board's decision was legally deficient.

         After considering all the arguments raised by Petitioner, the Court believes that the Board's decision was legally sufficient based on state and federal law. Accordingly, the Petitioner's Application for Post-Conviction Relief is denied for the reasons set forth in further detail below.

         II STANDARD OF REVIEW

         In Rhode Island, "[p]ursuant to the provisions of G.L. 1956 § 10–9.1–1, 'the remedy of postconviction relief is available to any person who has been convicted of a crime and who thereafter alleges either that the conviction violated the applicant's constitutional rights or that the existence of newly discovered material facts requires vacation of the conviction in the interest of justice.'" DeCiantis v. State, 24 A.3d 557, 569 (R.I. 2011) (quoting Page v. State, 995 A.2d 934, 942 (R.I. 2010)); see also Brown v. State, 32 A.3d 901, 907 (R.I. 2011). "An applicant for postconviction relief bears the burden of proving, by a preponderance of the evidence, that such relief is warranted in his or her case." DeCiantis, 24 A.3d at 569; Larngar v. Wall, 918 A.2d 850, 855 (R.I. 2007).

         Our Supreme Court has further expounded that the actions of the Rhode Island Parole Board are further reviewable by this Court pursuant to a petition for postconviction relief. See State v. Ouimette, 117 R.I. 361, 365, 367 A.2d 704, 707 (1976). "It seems to us that [§] 10-9.1-1, the postconviction remedy statute, is the proper vehicle for bringing [parole challenges] before the court." Id. Included in the Court's authority to hear parole challenges is the ability of the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.