may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota, ex rel.,
Edwin C. Hull, petitioner,
David Crist, et al.,
Filed June 8, 1999
Washington County District Court
File No. C7982441
Edwin C. Hull, No. 101138, 970 Pickett Street North, Bayport, MN 55003 (pro se appellant)
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, W. Karl Hansen, Assistant Attorney General, 1100 NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for respondents)
Considered and decided by Willis, Presiding Judge, Lansing, Judge, and Schumacher, Judge.
This appeal is from an order denying appellant Edwin Hull's petition for a writ of habeas corpus challenging respondents' calculation of his next parole-review date. We affirm.
Appellant Edwin Hull was sentenced in 1976 to three concurrent life sentences for murder. He was sentenced the following year to a consecutive term of a year and a day for escape from custody.
Anticipating Hull's eligibility for parole on April 3, 1994, respondents, who are officials of the Department of Corrections (DOC), scheduled a parole-review hearing for November 30, 1990.
At the November 1990 hearing, the DOC's advisory panel continued Hull's case for ten years for parole review in November 2000. In support of its action, the panel cited Hull's three murder convictions, as well as "a basically unstable institution disciplinary record" and his conviction for escape from custody.
Hull filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, arguing that the ten-year continuance of his parole review should be reduced to reflect good time. Hull noted that he had been notified by the DOC that he had lost more than 90 days of good time since his November 1990 review hearing. He argued that if he was losing good time he should also stand to benefit from the good time he earned by having it count against his future parole-review date. The district court denied the petition.
This court has held that good time applies to inmates serving pre-guidelines life sentences by affecting the calculation of their parole-eligibility date. Id. at 615. But Hull has already benefited from his accrued good time by having his parole-eligibility date advanced from sometime in the year 2001 to April 3, 1994. The DOC is not, however, required to release Hull on his parole-eligibility date.
Hull argues that he should receive an additional benefit from the good time he has earned since his April 3, 1994, parole-eligibility date. His argument is without merit.
At the November 1990 parole-review hearing, the DOC continued Hull's parole review for ten years. This action was authorized by the rule governing release of inmates serving life sentences, which provides:
Subp. 5. Projected release date. The commissioner shall establish a projected release date for each inmate or continue the case to a future review date.
Minn. R. 2940.1800, subp. 5 (1997) (emphasis added).
Good time operates to reduce an inmate's term of imprisonment. Minn. Stat. § 244.04, subd. 1 (1998). The ten-year continuance of the parole-review date is not a term of imprisonment. It is merely the continuance of a hearing date.
The ten-year continuance simply establishes the date of Hull's next parole-review hearing. It does not guarantee Hull will be released when the ten years expire in November 2000. As the DOC points out, the legislature has given the Commissioner of Corrections discretion to determine when eligible inmates will be paroled. See Edstrom v. State, 378 N.W.2d 90, 92 (Minn. App. 1985) (noting Commissioner's discretion under applicable parole statute), aff'd 386 N.W.2d 708 (Minn. 1986). In November 1990, the DOC did not bind itself to release Hull on any given future date. Because there is no firm release date established, application of a deduction for good time would be meaningless. Simply put, there is no term of imprisonment against which to apply the deduction Hull seeks.
Hull argues that this leaves inmates in his situation with no incentive for good conduct. But the DOC in this case continued Hull's parole review for ten years in part because he had a "basically unstable institution disciplinary record." The effect of Hull's disciplinary record on the DOC's decision whether to release him on parole provides ample incentive to obey prison regulations.
Hull's claim that the DOC has violated his right to due process is without merit.
There is no constitutional or inherent right of a convicted person to be conditionally released before the expiration of a valid sentence.
Greenholtz v. Inmates of Neb. Penal and Correctional Complex, 442 U.S. 1, 7, 99 S. Ct. 2100, 2104 (1979).
The record fully supports the district court's findings. And, as a matter of law, good time need not be applied against the continuance of Hull's parole-review date.