On January 23, 2006, prisoners in the custody of the New York State Department of Correctional Services and serving sentences for second degree murder filed a class action lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against ...
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On January 23, 2006, prisoners in the custody of the New York State Department of Correctional Services and serving sentences for second degree murder filed a class action lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against Governor Pataki and the New York State Division of Parole. Plaintiffs alleged that Governor Pataki instigated an unofficial policy of denying parole release to prisoners convicted of A-1 violent felony offenses solely on the basis of the violent nature of such offenses, and thus without proper consideration of any other relevant or statutorily mandated factor. This unofficial policy, plaintiffs alleged, resulted in unconstitutional enhancements of their sentences in violation of the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, and the ex post facto clause.
Defendants moved to dismiss the Complaint for failure to state a claim. The District Court (Judge Brieant) denied the motion. Graziano v. Pataki, 2006 WL 2023082, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52556 (S.D.N.Y., July 17, 2006).
Defendants subsequently filed a second motion to dismiss. Plaintiff filed opposition papers and moved for class certification on behalf of a class consisting of: all prisoners in the custody of the New York State Department of Correctional Services who: 1) were convicted of A-1 violent felony offenses; 2), were eligible for parole release; and 3) have been denied parole solely because of the "seriousness of the offense." Hearing on pending motions occurred on July 20, 2007, and the motions were taken under submission by the Court. Shortly thereafter, the parties advised the Court that they expected to reach a settlement of the case and asked the Court to defer its ruling on all pending motions.
In November 2007, settlement negotiations broke down and the defendants notified the Court that they no longer wished to pursue settlement. Shortly thereafter, the District Court (Judge Charles L. Brieant) denied the defendants' motion to dismiss and granted plaintiffs' motion for class certification. Graziano v. Pataki, 2007 WL 4302483 (S.D.N.Y. Dec 05, 2007).
On Dec 10, 2010, the US District Court (Judge Seibel) dismissed the case. On January 11, 2011, Plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal. On November 14, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a per curium opinion affirming the judgment of the lower court.Gregory Pitt - 07/19/2012
Priyah Kaul - 11/18/2014