IN SUPREME COURT
Court of Appeals
Anderson, Paul H., J.
Concurring, Page, J.
Dissenting, Blatz, C.J., and Anderson, Russell A., J.
Richard James Carrillo,
Filed: July 28, 2005
Office of Appellate Courts
Joan Fabian, Commissioner of Corrections,
S Y L L A B U S
Under the Due
Process Clause of the United States Constitution, a
The “some evidence” standard of proof is inappropriate for use by the Department of Corrections at the fact-finding level; rather, a Department of Corrections fact finder must find by a preponderance of the evidence that an inmate has violated a disciplinary rule before the Commissioner of Corrections can extend the inmate’s date of supervised release for the rule violation.
Heard, considered, and decided by the court en banc.
O P I N I O N
ANDERSON, Paul H., Justice.
Appellant Richard Carrillo seeks review of a Minnesota Court of Appeals decision affirming the Washington County District Court’s denial of his petition for writ of habeas corpus. Carrillo argues that the Commissioner of Corrections violated his constitutional rights by failing to provide him with sufficient procedural due process before extending his period of imprisonment by seven days. The commissioner extended Carrillo’s incarceration time after a Department of Corrections (DOC) hearing officer found that Carrillo committed the disciplinary offense of disorderly conduct. In finding that Carrillo had engaged in disorderly conduct, the hearing officer used the following standard of proof specified by the DOC’s policy: “some evidence in the record to support the charged violation of the offender disciplinary regulations.” We reverse.
On November 23, 1999, a jury convicted appellant Richard Carrillo of the offense of drive-by shooting for the benefit of a gang. The district court convicted him of this offense and imposed an executed sentence of 114 months. At sentencing, Carrillo was informed that he would serve two-thirds of his time in prison and one-third on supervised release unless he committed a disciplinary offense. See Minn. Stat. § 244.101, subds. 1-2 (2004). Carrillo is incarcerated at the Minnesota Correctional Facility at Faribault (MCFF).
On May 24, 2002, a fight broke out at MCFF while Carrillo was on the prison baseball field with several other inmates. As a result of the fight, the prison guards called the inmates back inside the prison living quarters. As Carrillo walked toward the living quarters with a group of about ten other inmates, one of the inmates in his group, Robert Mendez, fell to the ground.
Lieutenant Susan Williams was in charge of administering the prison that day in the warden’s absence. Williams saw Mendez fall and filed an incident report in which she stated that Carrillo had shoved Mendez to the ground. Carrillo was given a Notice of Violation that stated that he was charged with violating Offender Discipline Regulations 320 and 412—disorderly conduct and assault of an inmate. A disciplinary hearing was held on June 5, 2002, before a DOC hearing officer. Carrillo was not represented by counsel at that hearing, although he did have a right to have a “representative” assist him in the preparation and presentation of his case.
At the hearing, Williams was the only witness to testify for the commissioner. She stated that she saw a white inmate put his hands on another inmate’s shoulders and push him to the ground. She said she “couldn’t identify [the inmate] that had gotten pushed,” but that there was “no doubt in [her] mind” that Carrillo pushed the inmate. She testified that she identified Carrillo by his clothing and by “watch[ing] where he was walking.” The record reflects that at the time of the incident, Carrillo wore a white t-shirt, gray sweatpants, and tennis shoes—the same outfit worn by all of the other inmates who were playing baseball.
Williams said she could not identify Carrillo’s face because she was about 50 yards away from the inmates when the pushing incident occurred, but she maintained constant visual contact with Carrillo from the time she saw the incident until he reached the door to the living quarters. After witnessing the incident, Williams radioed the guards at the living quarters building and told them that a white inmate wearing a white t-shirt and gray sweatpants was approaching the building. Williams instructed the guards that when “the next white person comes in * * *, grab his ID.” Based on Williams’ information, the guards detained Carrillo.
Carrillo, Mendez, and a third inmate, Andrew McNalley, testified for Carrillo. Carrillo testified that he did not push anyone to the ground. Mendez testified that he stumbled and fell on his own while jogging toward the building and that no one shoved him. McNalley testified that he was present during the incident and that Mendez fell on his own and was not pushed.
whether Carrillo had committed the disciplinary violations charged, the hearing
officer relied on the standard of proof established by the DOC for major
violations, which requires only that there be “some evidence in the record to
support the charged violation of the offender disciplinary regulations.”
Carrillo appealed the hearing officer’s decision to the warden, and the warden affirmed. As a direct result of the decision, Carrillo served 23 days in segregation, and the commissioner delayed Carrillo’s supervised release date by seven days, from April 4 to April 11, 2006.
Carrillo brought a
petition for a writ of habeas corpus in Washington County District Court,
arguing that the commissioner violated his constitutional rights by extending
his term of imprisonment without providing sufficient procedural due
process. The district court denied Carrillo’s
petition on August 26, 2003. The court
of appeals affirmed the district court, concluding that Carrillo had not shown
a protected liberty interest in his release date, and that even if he had, he
received all process due. Carrillo v.
Fabian, 2004 WL 1049206 (
due process is required in a particular case is a question of law, which we
review de novo. Morrissey v. Brewer,
engaging in a due process analysis, a court must conduct two inquiries. First, the court must determine whether the
complainant has a liberty or property interest with which the state has
first must determine whether Carrillo has a liberty interest in his supervised
release date. The Due Process Clause of
the U.S. Constitution provides that a state shall not “deprive any person of
life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”
The Supreme Court
has held that state law can create liberty interests that are protected by due
process. Wolff, 418
Both parties and
amicus curiae American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota argue that we should
look to the language of Minn. Stat. §§ 244.101 and 244.05 (2004), establishing
Minnesota’s determinate sentencing scheme, to determine whether the state has
created a liberty interest in an inmate’s date of supervised release. Carrillo and amicus argue, based on Greenholtz,
that the use of mandatory language in
By contrast, the commissioner argues that Carrillo had no reasonable expectation that he would be released from prison on a specific date because the language of section 244.101, subd. 3 (2004), expressly provides that an inmate has no right to a specific, minimum length of a supervised release term. Additionally, the commissioner reasons that Carrillo’s argument lacks merit because Minn. Stat. § 244.101, subd. 2, requires that the sentencing court explain to the defendant at the time of sentencing that “the amount of time the defendant actually serves in prison may be extended by the commissioner if the defendant commits any disciplinary offense in prison” and that such an extension “could result in the defendant’s serving the entire executed sentence in prison.” In the alternative, the commissioner contends that, if the Greenholtz mandatory language analysis remains intact, the statutes should be characterized as permissive because the length of an inmate’s supervised release term is “subject to” the commissioner’s authority to impose “any disciplinary confinement period” extending the term of imprisonment when the inmate has violated “any disciplinary rule adopted by the commissioner.” Minn. Stat. §§ 244.101, subd. 1; 244.05, subd. 1b (2004).
Both parties focus
too narrowly on the language of sections 244.101 and 244.05 to establish or
defeat an inmate’s expectation of supervised release and the existence of a
protectable liberty interest. Since its
decisions in Wolff and Greenholtz, the Supreme Court has
expressed its disapproval of the emphasis that courts have placed on the
mandatory or discretionary nature of statutes in seeking to determine whether
the state has created liberty interest. Sandin,
an inmate brought a civil rights action against prison officials in the state
By shifting the focus of the liberty interest inquiry to one based on the language of a particular regulation, and not the nature of the deprivation, the Court encouraged prisoners to comb regulations in search of mandatory language on which to base entitlements to various state-conferred privileges. Courts have, in response, and not altogether illogically, drawn negative inferences from mandatory language in the text of prison regulations.
The Supreme Court
in Sandin did not overrule any prior
decisions, but proclaimed that “[t]he time has come to return to the due
process principles * * * correctly established and applied in Wolff and Meachum.”
[State-created liberty] interests will be generally limited to freedom from restraint which, while not exceeding the sentence in such an unexpected manner as to give rise to protection by the Due Process Clause of its own force * * * nonetheless imposes atypical and significant hardship on the inmate in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life.
Sandin, the Supreme Court noted that
the inmate’s segregated confinement did not exceed similar discretionary
confinement in either duration or degree of restriction and did not inevitably
lead to an extension of the inmate’s overall period of confinement.
Based on the due
process principles articulated in Sandin, we conclude that it is
inappropriate to analyze Carrillo’s liberty interest by looking solely to
statutory language; rather, we must examine the nature of the deprivation and
the extent to which that deprivation departs from the basic conditions of Carrillo’s
sentence. Under the
(1) the total length of the executed sentence; (2) the amount of time the defendant will serve in prison; and (3) the amount of time the defendant will serve on supervised release, assuming the defendant commits no disciplinary offense in prison that results in the imposition of a disciplinary confinement period.
Stat. § 244.101, subd. 2 (emphasis added).
The statute provides further guidance, stating: “[t]he court shall also
explain that the amount of time the defendant actually serves in prison may be
extended by the commissioner if the defendant commits any disciplinary offenses
Here, the commissioner
found that Carrillo committed a disciplinary offense and extended his
incarceration time by seven days. In
examining the nature and extent of Carrillo’s deprivation, it becomes apparent
that it is dissimilar to that in Sandin. The deprivation in Sandin involved the punishment of disciplinary segregation, and
thus involved only the conditions under which the inmate served his time while in
It appears to us
that Carrillo’s deprivation is more similar to the deprivation experienced by
the inmate in Wolff, where the Supreme
Court held that the inmate had a liberty interest in the date of his release
from prison. Thus, a further comparison
between this case and Wolff is in
order. Under the
We recognize that Minnesota’s sentencing scheme contains a short provision entitled “No right to supervised release” that declares that “[n]otwithstanding the court’s explanation of the potential length of a defendant’s supervised release term, the court’s explanation creates no right of a defendant to any specific, minimum length of a supervised release term.” Minn. Stat. § 244.101, subd. 3. But the statutes, taken as a whole, plainly establish a sentencing scheme under which an inmate will serve two-thirds of his executed sentence in prison and one-third on supervised release unless he commits a disciplinary offense while in prison. Therefore, we are left with two possible ways to interpret section 244.101, subd. 3. Either there is a difference between a “liberty interest” and a “right” which makes it possible to reconcile that provision with the rest of the sentencing scheme, or “liberty interest” and “right” are interchangeable and the legislature has established a sentencing scheme that is internally inconsistent. Our interpretation both gives the legislature the benefit of the doubt and harmonizes section 244.101, subd. 3, with the rest of the statutory scheme.
For all of the foregoing reasons,
we conclude that, similar to the inmate in Wolff
and unlike the inmate in Sandin, Carrillo
has experienced a deprivation that “inevitably affects” the length of his term
of imprisonment because his date of release from prison was extended by seven
days as an immediate consequence of the disciplinary action against
him. In reaching our conclusion, we
recognize that seven days of additional incarceration time may not appear long
relative to two-thirds of a 114-month sentence, but it is important to
emphasize that we conclude any extension of an inmate’s period of imprisonment
represents a significant departure from the basic conditions of the inmate’s
sentence. Cf. Foucha v.
that Carrillo has a protected liberty interest in his supervised release date
under the United States Constitution, we turn now to the issue of whether the
DOC’s “some evidence” standard of proof offers sufficient protection of that
interest. The purpose of a standard of
proof for a particular type of adjudication is to instruct the fact finder on the
degree of confidence our society desires the fact finder to have in the
correctness of his or her conclusions. Addington
The evolution of
our law has produced three basic standards of proof: preponderance of the
evidence, clear and convincing, and beyond a reasonable doubt.
The DOC policy specifies that a fourth standard of proof—“some evidence”—shall be used in hearings on major violations of prison disciplinary rules. This standard allows a hearing officer to find that an inmate violated a disciplinary rule if there is some credible evidence presented to show that the inmate committed the offense charged. Thus, as a standard of proof, “some evidence” is much less exacting than the preponderance of the evidence standard used in civil cases.
Supreme Court addressed the “some evidence” standard with respect to prison
disciplinary hearings in Superintendent, Massachusetts Correctional
Institution at Walpole v. Hill, 472 U.S. 445 (1985). In Hill, the Court held that the
requirements of due process are satisfied if some evidence supports a decision
by a prison disciplinary board to revoke good time credits.
Ascertaining whether this standard is satisfied does not require examination of the entire record, independent assessment of the credibility of witnesses, or weighing of the evidence. Instead, the relevant question is whether there is any evidence in the record that could support the conclusion reached by the disciplinary board.
Since the release
of Hill, courts have interpreted its holding regarding the use of the
“some evidence” standard differently.
Some courts, such as the Eighth Circuit, have concluded that due process
is satisfied if the fact finder, generally a prison disciplinary committee,
bases its decision on the existence of “some evidence” in the record that shows
that the inmate committed the offense charged.
See, e.g., Goff v. Dailey, 991 F.2d 1437, 1442 (8th Cir.
1993). The Eighth Circuit reasoned that
prison administration would be unduly burdened and institutional interests
possibly threatened if a more exacting evidentiary standard were required.
the Eighth Circuit and some other courts have concluded that the “some
evidence” standard is appropriate at the fact-finding level, the prevailing
view is that the standard is only suitable for use by an appellate court in the
context of reviewing lower court decisions.
Courts espousing this view interpret Hill
as addressing the “some evidence” standard solely in the context of judicial
review of prison administration decisions.
See Brown v. Fauver, 819 F.2d
395, 399 n.4 (3rd Cir. 1987); Kodama v.
Johnson, 786 P.2d 417, 420 (
agree with the prevailing view and conclude that Hill addressed only the
appropriateness of “some evidence” as a standard of appellate review, not a
standard of proof. Therefore, we now
seek to determine through our own analysis the appropriate fact-finding
standard to be used by the DOC. To determine
whether a standard of proof in a particular type of proceeding satisfies due
process, the Supreme Court has prescribed a three-factor test that examines:
(1) the private interest affected, (2) the risk of an erroneous deprivation of
such interest, and (3) the government’s interest. Mathews v. Eldridge, 424
It is clear that
the first factor is satisfied here, as we have already concluded that an inmate
has a protected liberty interest in his date of supervised release. The Supreme Court has acknowledged that when
an inmate has a liberty interest in good time credits, he also has a strong
interest in assuring that the loss of his good time credits is not imposed
arbitrarily because such a loss threatens his prospective freedom from
confinement by extending the length of imprisonment. See Hill, 472
Under the second factor, the risk of erroneous deprivation of an interest is high when the fact finder uses the “some evidence” standard. The Vermont Supreme Court in LaFaso noted: “It is difficult to conceive of an aspect of disciplinary procedure with a greater impact on the accuracy of fact-finding than the evidentiary standard on which the ultimate conclusion must be based.” 633 A.2d at 699. We agree. Under the “some evidence” standard, a fact finder could conclude that an inmate has committed a disciplinary offense even when the greater weight of the evidence indicates that he did not. Indeed, the fact finder could reach this conclusion even when significantly more than the greater weight of the evidence indicates that the inmate is not guilty. Thus, the use of the “some evidence” standard might result in the extension of many inmates’ terms of incarceration, even when there is a strong likelihood that these inmates have not committed a disciplinary offense. Under this standard of proof, the benefits of certain procedural safeguards provided by the DOC’s rules, such as notice and opportunity to respond, are of no value when prison authorities can extend an inmate’s term of incarceration for an alleged violation of a disciplinary rule even when the balance of the evidence fails to prove that the inmate committed the charged offense.
We turn now to the
third and final factor, the government’s interest. The Eighth Circuit in Goff noted that
the government has an interest in assuring the safety of inmates and employees,
as well as avoiding burdensome administrative requirements that might be
susceptible to manipulation. Goff,
991 F.2d at 1441. But the government
also has an interest in promoting fair procedures, and the government derives
no benefit from disciplining inmates who have committed no offense. The institution’s goals of preparing and
rehabilitating inmates for re-entry into society are better achieved if they
have been treated fairly. Cf. McKune
v. Lile, 536 U.S. 24, 36 (2002) (stating that rehabilitation is an
important penological objective, and a prison program bearing a rational
relation to that objective does not violate the privilege against
self-incrimination as long as the adverse consequences an inmate faces for not
participating are related to the program objectives and do not constitute
atypical and significant hardships in relation to the ordinary incidents of
prison life). The “some evidence”
standard sends the message to prison inmates as well as society at large that
once an individual is convicted of a crime, he is presumed guilty of every subsequent
allegation. This message runs contrary
to fundamental principles of criminal law in the
Taking the Supreme Court’s three factors into consideration, we conclude that the “some evidence” standard is inappropriate for use by the DOC at the fact-finding level. We conclude that the preponderance of the evidence standard better protects against an erroneous deprivation of an inmate’s liberty interest in his supervised release date and does not impose an unacceptable burden on the DOC. Therefore, we conclude that a DOC hearing officer must find by a preponderance of the evidence that Carrillo has committed a disciplinary offense before the commissioner can extend the date of his supervised release. Accordingly, we hold that the district court and the court of appeals erred when they denied Carrillo’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
ANDERSON, G. Barry, J., took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.
C O N C U R R E N C E
PAGE, Justice (concurring).
agree with the majority’s holding that a
The object of
statutory construction is “to ascertain and effectuate the intention of the
Under Minn. Stat. § 244.101, subd. 1 (2004), an inmate must serve “a specified minimum term of imprisonment that is equal to two-thirds of the executed sentence,” and a specified maximum supervised release term “subject to the provisions of section 244.05, subdivision 1b.” Under Minn. Stat. § 244.05, subd. 1b (2004), for felony offenses committed on or after August 1, 1993, every inmate sentenced to prison “shallserve a supervised release term upon completion of the inmate’s term of imprisonment and any disciplinary confinement period imposed by the commissioner” due to violation of disciplinary rules or failure to participate in a required rehabilitation program. (Emphasis added.) Read together, the language of section 244.101, subdivision 1, and section 244.05, subdivision 1b, is clear and free from ambiguity. An inmate, such as Carrillo, who is sentenced for a felony offense that occurred on or after August 1, 1993, has a right to be placed on supervised release after serving two-thirds of the executed sentence plus any disciplinary confinement period properly imposed by the Commissioner of Corrections. Although the inmate has no right to be placed on supervised release on a date certain, he or she does have a liberty interest in being released pursuant to the terms of the statutory scheme. As the inmate is entitled to supervised release after serving two-thirds of the executed sentence plus any properly imposed disciplinary confinement period, so too is the Commissioner of Corrections obligated to place the inmate on supervised release after that time period. Any failure to do so would be a due process violation because the language of the statute creates a mandatory supervised release requirement. See State v. Calmes, 632 N.W.2d 641, 645, 648 (Minn. 2001) (“[D]ue process may be violated when a defendant’s sentence is enhanced after the defendant has developed a crystallized expectation of finality in the earlier sentence.”); State v. Humes, 581 N.W.2d 317, 319 (Minn. 1998) (concluding that the use of the word “shall” in the conditional release term statute made the conditional release term mandatory).
The dissent reads section 244.101, subdivision 1, and section 244.05, subdivision 1b, in conjunction with section 244.101, subdivision 2 (2004), to conclude, “[t]hese provisions clearly demonstrate that there is no statutory right to a specified period of supervised release.” That conclusion is wrong. Minnesota Statutes § 244.101, subdivision 2, provides:
When a court pronounces an executed sentence under this section, it shall explain: (1) the total length of the executed sentence; (2) the amount of time the defendant will serve in prison; and (3) the amount of time the defendant will serve on supervised release, assuming the defendant commits no disciplinary offense in prison that results in the imposition of a disciplinary confinement period. The court shall also explain that the amount of time the defendant actually serves in prison may be extended by the commissioner if the defendant commits any disciplinary offenses in prison and that this extension could result in the defendant’s serving the entire executed sentence in prison.
(Emphasis added.) Thus, section 244.101, subdivision 2, merely confirms the application of section 244.05, subdivision 1b, and requires the sentencing court to explain to the defendant the requirements of section 244.05, subdivision 1b. In support of its conclusion, the dissent cites to section 244.101, subdivision 3 (2004), which provides that “[n]otwithstanding the court’s explanation of the potential length of the defendant’s supervised release term, the court’s explanation creates no right of a defendant to any specific, minimum length of a supervised term.” (Emphasis added.) Construing subdivision 3 in the context of section 244.101, it is clear that subdivision 3 only provides that the court’s explanation does not create a right toa specific minimum length of a supervised release term. Subdivision 3 places no limits on the requirements of section 244.05, subdivision 1b. Section 244.101, subdivision 3, likely reflects the legislature’s concern that any error in a sentencing court’s explanation should not lead a defendant to claim a right to a particular supervised release term. An example, by way of analogy, illustrates this point. We have held that when a defendant is convicted of a crime that carries with it a conditional release term and the sentencing court fails to impose the conditional release term at the sentencing hearing, the conditional release is nonetheless mandatory and nonwaivable. See Calmes, 632 N.W.2d at 649. Section 244.101, subdivision 3, like our holding in Calmes, makes it clear that an error by the sentencing court in explaining the minimum period of incarceration and the maximum period of supervised release creates no right in the defendant to any specific minimum length of supervised release.
Because section 244.05, subdivision 1b, creates a liberty interest in being released after an inmate has served the term of imprisonment plus any disciplinary confinement period properly imposed by the commissioner, Carrillo is entitled to review of the propriety of the imposed discipline.
D I S S E N T
BLATZ, Chief Justice (dissenting).
“[T]he interest of prisoners in
disciplinary procedures is not included in that ‘liberty’ protected by the
Fourteenth Amendment.” Wolff v. McDonnell, 418
Critical to the analysis of the
question before this court are the United States Supreme Court decisions in Wolff, 418
In determining whether
The chief executive officer of a [correctional] facility shall reduce, for parole purposes, for good behavior and faithful performance of duties while confined in a facility the term of a committed offender.
After reviewing these
provisions of the
It is true that the Constitution itself does not
guarantee good-time credit for satisfactory behavior while in prison. But here the State itself has not only
provided a statutory right to good time but also specifies that it is to be
forfeited only for serious misbehavior.
In Sandin v. Connor, the Supreme Court
again addressed whether prison disciplinary procedures implicated a liberty
interest, requiring procedural protections under the Due Process Clause. 515
In reversing the
Ninth Circuit, the Supreme Court noted that the Ninth Circuit’s holding that
the inmate was entitled to procedural protections set forth in Wolff was based on an incorrect
“negative inference that the [disciplinary] committee may not impose
segregation if it does not find substantial evidence of misconduct.”
Inferr[ing] from the mandatory directive that a finding of guilt “shall” be imposed under certain conditions the conclusion that the absence of such conditions prevents a finding of guilt * * * may be entirely sensible in the ordinary task of construing a statute defining rights and remedies available to the general public. It is a good deal less sensible in the case of a prison regulation primarily designed to guide correctional officials in the administration of a prison. Not only are such regulations not designed to confer rights on inmates, but the result of the negative implication jurisprudence is not to require the prison officials to follow the negative implication drawn from the regulation, but is instead to attach procedural protections that may be of quite a different nature.
While the United States Supreme
Court has clearly ruled that state statutes are the source of any due process
right to be accorded to inmates in prison disciplinary procedures, the majority
nonetheless states that “it is inappropriate to analyze Carrillo’s liberty
interest by looking solely to statutory language; rather, we must examine the
nature of the deprivation and the extent to which that deprivation departs from
the basic conditions of Carrillo’s sentence.”
In so stating, the majority in effect interprets Wolff and Sandin as
creating an analytical framework that has two separate legal considerations:
(1) the statutory right and (2) the nature of the deprivation. Using this framework, the majority then
concludes that Carrillo has a liberty interest in a specific supervised release
date. This framework, I respectfully
submit, is not grounded in or supported by Supreme Court precedent because the
Court’s precedent does not bifurcate the analysis, but rather looks to the
statute to see if there has been a deprivation.
Accordingly, because a liberty interest, if created, is created by state
statute, I begin by analyzing the applicable
statutes, an executed sentence “consists of two parts: (1) a specified minimum term of imprisonment
that is equal to two-thirds of the executed sentence; and (2) a specified
maximum supervised release term that is equal to one-third of the executed
sentence.” Minn. Stat. § 244.101, subd.
1 (2004). Importantly, the statutes
provide that “[t]he amount of time the inmate actually serves in prison and on
supervised release is subject to the provisions of [Minn. Stat.] § 244.05,
subd. 1b.” Minn. Stat. § 244.101, subd.
1. Section 244.05 provides that an
inmate convicted for a crime committed after August 1, 1993, “shall serve a supervised
release term upon completion of the inmate's term of imprisonment and any
disciplinary confinement period imposed by the commissioner due to the inmate's
violation of any disciplinary rule adopted by the commissioner.” Minn. Stat. § 244.05, subd. 1b (2004)
Reinforcing this clear expression of legislative intent is the statutory provision entitled “No right to supervised release” which provides: “Notwithstanding the court’s explanation of the potential length of a defendant’s supervised release term, the court’s explanation creates no right of a defendant to any specific, minimum length of a supervised release term.” Minn. Stat. § 244.101, subd. 3 (2004). In my view, this statement and the totality of the other relevant statutory provisions is determinative of the issue before us; the legislature clearly did not intend to create a liberty interest in a specified date of supervised release.
reliance on Sandin to look at the “deprivation”
suffered by the defendant, notwithstanding the plain language of our statute
stating there is “no right,” ignores the holding of Wolff—that there is
no right to supervised release unless it is created by the state. Thus, the majority’s analysis is in direct
conflict with Wolff and, in
consequence, with the Supreme Court’s statement in Sandin that “the time has come to return to the due process
principles we believe were correctly established and applied in Wolff and Meachum.” Sandin,
In summary, there can be no deprivation if there is no constitutional or statutory right. Indeed, there can be no deprivation where our statute specifically provides that a defendant has “no right * * * to any specific, minimum length of a supervised release term.” Minn. Stat. § 244.101, subd. 3. With such statutory language, I cannot conclude that an inmate was deprived, much less that, as the majority concludes, the deprivation caused “a significant departure from the basic conditions of the inmate’s sentence.”
While it may be
preferable policy or practice to have such a statutory right, it is not the
responsibility of this court to create one.
It is our responsibility to afford inmates
the process necessary to protect any right created by statute. Here, no right is created and I would so hold.
ANDERSON, Russell A., J. (dissenting).
I join the dissent of Chief Justice Blatz.
 The Department of Corrections policy
in effect at the time of Carrillo’s disciplinary hearing did not differentiate
between major and minor disciplinary violations, and both were subject to the
standard of proof of “some evidence in the record to support the charged
violation of the offender disciplinary regulations.”
 The broader problem was rooted in the
implicit reasoning of the Supreme Court’s decision in Greenholtz, 442
 The dissent, by making the language of Minn. Stat. § 244.101, subd. 3, the lynchpin of its analysis, effectively turns Sandin on its head. Instead of examining the nature of the deprivation at issue in the context of the statutory scheme as the Supreme Court in Sandin encouraged courts to do henceforth, the dissent allows the language of Minn. Stat. § 244.101, subd. 3, to entirely negate the possibility that there may have been a deprivation that implicates due process principles.
 Carrillo’s deprivation is similar to the deprivation in Sandin with respect to the 23 days that Carrillo spent in disciplinary segregation, but different from the deprivation in Sandin in that Carrillo’s date of release from prison was extended by seven days.
 We note thatin
 Contrary to the dissent’s assertion, the majority does not “bifurcate the analysis” by treating the statute and the nature of the deprivation separately. Our analysis is informed by our observation that the statutory scheme establishes the basis for evaluating the nature of the deprivation, and thus we consider both together. Punishment schemes are imposed by statute; thus, the deprivation caused when an inmate’s supervised release date is extended does not and cannot occur in a vacuum. If an inmate’s established date of supervised release were arbitrary and could be modified by the commissioner for any reason or for no reason at all, or if the legislature did not clearly delineate the 2/3 imprisonment and 1/3 supervised release scheme in the statute, then the extension of that inmate’s likely date of supervised release may not represent a departure from the basic conditions of his sentence. But it is precisely because Minnesota’s statutory scheme sets up an ordered, standardized, clearly delineated system—under which an inmate will be released from prison on the date that he was informed by the judge at sentencing that he would be released unless he commits a disciplinary offense—that the extension of Carrillo’s supervised release date represents a departure from the basic conditions of his sentence. Moreover, it follows that Carrillo’s deprivation under the current – post-1993 –Minnesota statutory scheme is more severe than is an inmate’s deprivation under the statutory scheme in Wolff because Carrillo was given a more concrete expectation of release than was the inmate in Wolff.
dissent asserts that the majority ignores the statutory construction canon
directing the court to construe every statute to give effect to all of its
provisions; yet it is the dissent’s analysis that appears to offend that
 The Supreme Court used the following language in explaining the “some evidence” holding of Hill:
Because we conclude that due process demands some system for a citizen detainee to refute his classification, the proposed ‘some evidence’ standard is inadequate. Any process in which the Executive’s factual assertions go wholly unchallenged or are simply presumed correct without any opportunity for the alleged combatant to demonstrate otherwise falls constitutionally short. As the Government itself has recognized, we have utilized the “some evidence” standard in the past as a standard of review, not as a standard of proof. * * * That is, it primarily has been employed by courts in examining an administrative record developed after an adversarial proceeding—one with process at least of the sort that we today hold is constitutionally mandated in the citizen enemy-combatant setting. See [Hill]. This standard therefore is ill suited to the situation in which a habeas petitioner has received no prior proceedings before any tribunal and had no prior opportunity to rebut the Executive’s factual assertions before a neutral decisionmaker. Hamdi, 124 S.Ct. at 265.
 We have recognized that the defendant has the right to the benefit of the bargain of his or her plea agreement. See, e.g., State v. Wukawitz, 662 N.W.2d 517, 520, 522 (Minn. 2003) (holding that where imposition of mandatory conditional release term would violate a plea agreement and a plea withdrawal would unduly prejudice the state, the district court has discretion to impose a conditional release term shorter than the statutory minimum); State v. Jumping Eagle, 620 N.W.2d 42, 45 (Minn. 2000). This is so because “if a guilty plea is induced by a government promise, such a promise must be fulfilled or due process is violated.” Wukawitz, 662 N.W.2d at 522. As a result, under certain circumstances, the terms of the mandatory and nonwaivable conditional release may not be imposed. The defendant’s right to the benefit of the plea bargain derives from the defendant’s right to due process, and not from some right created by the court’s explanation of the potential length of the defendant’s sentence.
 The majority states: “It appears to us that Carrillo’s deprivation
is more similar to the deprivation experienced by the inmate in Wolff, where the Supreme Court held that
the inmate had a liberty interest in the date of his release from prison.” While his deprivation may be similar, the
statutes are not. Unlike Minnesota
Statutes, Nebraska’s statute did not contain a provision stating that the
prisoner had “no right” to supervised release, but in fact expressly provided
that the chief executive officer of a prison “shall reduce” an inmates sentence
for good behavior. Wolff, 418
 The majority suggests that the
statute is “internally inconsistent” if not interpreted to provide a liberty
interest to Carrillo despite the provision stating that there is “no
right.” However, the Supreme Court in Sandin recognized that while there may
be prison regulations “designed to guide correctional officials in the
administration of a prison,” “such regulations [are] not designed to confer
rights on inmates.” Sandin, 515
 The majority distinguishes a
“liberty interest” from a “right” in order to circumvent the legislature’s
express language that there is “no right.”
In doing so, the majority concludes that while there is no “right” to
supervised release, an inmate has a “liberty interest” in a specific period of
supervised release. This is inconsistent
with the Supreme Court’s decision in Wolff
where the Court concluded that the inmate had an interest of “real
substance” because the state “created
the right to good time.” Wolff,