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Suit Challenging Massachusetts Parole Procedures Dismissed

Prisoners' claim that a state parole statute is unconstitutionally vague and that the parole board denies due process by allowing crime victims and their families to speak at parole hearings while refusing to permit the plaintiffs' families and friends to be heard need not be pursued via habeas corpus after exhaustion of state remedies. At 127:

The plaintiffs seek neither to reverse a prior denial of parole nor to require a future grant. Rather, they want what they contend would be a fairer consideration of their candidacy for parole. This outcome would not result in a judgment that "would necessarily imply the invalidity [of their] conviction[s] or sentence[s]." See Heck ....

The plaintiffs' claims are rejected because there is no liberty interest in parole release under the Constitution or the Massachusetts parole statute. No First Amendment or equal protection claim was raised concerning the refusal to let prisoners' families and friends speak at parole hearings. See: Lynch v. Hubbard, 47 F.Supp.2d 125 (D.Mass. 1999).

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Related legal case

Lynch v. Hubbard