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A Call for an Investigation of the U.S. Parole Commission

By Elton R. Winchester #31778-138, Leavenworth

The Sentencing Reform Act (SRA) that went into effect in Novermber of 1987, abolished parole and the U.S. Parole Commission (USPC). Section 235(b)(3) of the SRA required the USPC to hear all of the old law prisoners and set them a parole date within their guidelines, leaving office in November of 1992. They were given five years to finish their work.

The USPC objected to the part in 235(b)(3) that directed them to set a date for old law offenders. The USPC convinced Congress to change that section so that they could make decisions outside the respective guidelines. This took effect in December, 1987. The five year work period remained intact.

At that point, old law offenders began asking for hearings. The USPC refused. They agreed that old law offenders had to be granted their hearings, but said that they could do so at any time within the five year period. They chose to wait for the last six months they would be in office. There are over 20,000 old law offenders in U.S. prisons. The USPC never explained how they were going to process, in six months, the enormous number of cases awaiting evaluation. Why? Because they never intended to hear the cases.

Several inmates filed court cases claiming that USPC, under the law, was required to start making immediate parole decisions. The USPC fought them back. Three separate court cases concluded in the same way, "For that limited group Congress chose not to require service of their maximum sentences but instead to afford them release on parole within their applicable parole guideline ranges." ( Lewis v. Martin , 880 F.2d, pg 291)

At this point, old law offenders had no choice but to sit and wait for USPC to do their job. USPC said they would do it before November, 1992.

Instead of conducting the required parole hearings, USPC began holding new trials. These trials encompassed everything. In fact, the charge that had gotten you imprisoned, might not even be mentioned. They were not attempting to comply with Congress. They were blatantly attempting to justify an extension of their existence, beyond their deadline. They have decided to keep their jobs by ensuring that old law offenders remain incarcerated for as long as possible.

How did the USPC get the power to function without abiding their own guidelines? They gave themselves that power by implementing the unconstitutional Rule 2.19(c), Title 5, USC 553. It is an abuse of agency discretion and is in excess of federal jurisdiction. The use of theis rule against old law offenders violates Constitutional and Statutory rights. When a prisoner appears before USPC for a parole hearing, the USPC implements the provisions of Rule 2.19(c) to obtain de facto jurisdiction over uncharged crimes, outstanding charges, acquittals, and vacated charges of either state or federal offenses, which may or may not have nexus with the parole applicant. This allows USPC to make guilt findings against the parole applicant, imposing extended terms of incarceration as punishment.

Since the USPC's tenure was supposed to expire in November of 1992, their use of Rule 219(c) assures them extended longevity because there are thousands of prisoners still in the system subject to a two year parole review update under 18 USC 4208(h) 28 CFR 2.13 et.,seq.,2.14,et.,seq.

The use of Rule 219(c) is unconstitutional. Only Congress can bestow the authority upon an agency by making the offense a federal crime, subject to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, for a guilt or innocence adjudication. That is, the <%-3>Executive Branch, rather than the Legislative Branch, has enacted a "statue" bestowing itself with the authority to deem what is criminal conduct, solely by its own standard of review, and to impose punishment for said conduct, yet evading judicial review.

Thousands of old law offenders have incurred irreparable harm via the loss of their liberty because the USPC determined that the parole applicant was guilty of an uncharged offense, outstanding offense, or a vacated federal or state conviction.

In the fall of 1990, USPC was given another five year extension until November 1997. Shortly thereafter, Senator Bob Dole had his personal friend Ed Reilly appointed as chairman of USPC.

In the past, if one had served one-third of one's sentence and met the required criteria, one could expect parole. This is not true anymore. Once you enter the room where your parole hearing is supposed to take place, the USPC examiner tells you what you're to be tried for. It might be a state charge that had been dismissed or something you were never indicted for. You receive no advance notice. You're without an attorney. The USPC has never lost a case. They never found anyone innocent because the purpose of this trial is to keep recycling old law offenders solely to justify the USPC's paycheck!

This agency has run amok for several years with no one to answer to but themselves. Thousands of prisoners are being held hostage for the paychecks of the USPC. Citizens are tired of millions of their tax dollars being wasted by improvident government spending.
Hotlines for Cutting Government Waste
Commission on Civil Rights: 1-800-552-6843
Interior: 1-800-424-5081
Justice: 1-800-869-4499

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