Wilson v. U.S. Parole Comm'n, No. 10-1842 (3d Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Petitioner, convicted of armed assault and murder in 1977, is detained in a federal facility in West Virginia. While in prison he was convicted of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. He is serving an aggregate sentence comprised of sentences that were imposed under the D.C. Code and the U.S. Code. The district court denied his habeas corpus petition, reasoning that the U.S. Parole Commission had a rational basis for denying parole (the unusual circumstances of his offenses) and that petitioner was not entitled to benefit from the release-date guarantee under the earlier version of the Sentencing Reform Act because the Commission applied D.C. Code regulations, not the current SRA, in declining to set a parole date. The District Court also denied a certificate of appealability explaining that petitioner, in custody by virtue of a District of Columbia judgment, is considered a state prisoner and had not made the threshold showing for issuance of such a certificate. The First Circuit agreed, stating that petitioner had not made the necessary showing of constitutional violations that would justify issuance of a COA.