Jimenez v. Conrad, No. 11-1180 (1st Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
In 1982, Jimenez was convicted of the parolable offense of second degree murder for killing a police officer and simultaneously acquitted of murder in the first degree, conviction of which would have carried no possibility of parole. The Massachusetts Parole Board denied his parole applications in 1999, 2004, and 2009. He sued under 42 U.S.C. 1983, claiming violations of due process and equal protection and infringements of guarantees under the Commonwealth's constitution. The defendants are the six members of the Board, named in their official capacities, each of whom voted to deny parole. The district court dismissed for failure to state a claim for constitutional violations, finding specific relief barred by the section 1983 prohibition of injunctions against judicial officers. The First Circuit affirmed. There is nothing shocking or arbitrary about the parole board’s discretion. A state may rationally take the position that a law enforcement officer’s constant exposure to violence calls for a more powerful deterrent to homicidal behavior than the general laws of homicide provide.