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Reynolds v. State

United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division

February 19, 2019

CLARENCE DUKE REYNOLDS, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF VIRGINIA, et al Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Hon. Jackson L. Kiser Senior United States District Judge

         Clarence Duke Reynolds, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, filed a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the follow Defendants: the State of Virginia; Virginia Parole Board Chairwoman Adrianne Bennett; Virginia Parole Board Member Rev. A. Lincoln James; Virginia Parole Board Member Sherman Lea; Virginia Parole Board Co-Chair Jean W. Cunningham; Virginia Parole Board Member Joni L. Ivey; Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe; and the Senate and House of Representatives of Virginia.[1]

         I. Claims

         Plaintiff raises eight claims:

1. "The Parole Board is in violation of my 6th Amendment [rights] when they did not treat parole and minimum sentence as having the same protection as the maximum sentence under the 6th Amendment." (Compl. 8 [ECF No. 1].)[2]
2. "The Parole Board is in violation of my 6th Amendment [rights] by having a bias[ed] Parole Board. By having a representative of a crime victim and a person in the field of law enforcement serving on the Parole Board is a constitutional violation." Id.
3. "The Parole Board Manu[a]l is in violation of my 5th, 6th, and 14th Amendment[] [rights] when it gives 'element of crime' as part of the guidelines for the Parole Board decisions to grant or not to grant parole." Id.
4. "The State of Virginia created laws that govern the parole system are in violation my 5th, 6th, and 14th Amendment[] [rights] by having 'element of crime' in the Parole Board Manu[a]l and by having a bias[ed] panel of Parole Board members that are representative of crime victim[s]." Id.
5. "The Parole Board is in violation of my 6th Amendment [rights] when they used 'element of crime' for their reasoning and determination not to grant parole." Id.
6. "The Parole Board is in violation of my 6th Amendment [rights] when they used unsubstantial or untruthful reasoning to turn this Plaintiff down for parole." Id.
7. "Instead of using facts the Virginia Parole Board is in violation of this Plaintiff['s] 6th Amendment rights by using their opinion in making [the] decision not to grant parole." Mot. to Amend 1, ECF No. 12.
8. "The Parole Board has violated this Plaintiff['s] 6th and 14th Amendment [rights] of the United States Constitution when they met in secret or behind closed doors to determine not [to] grant parole to this Plaintiff." Id.

         For relief, Plaintiff requests: (1) an investigation of the laws that govern the Virginia parole system; (2) a court order directing the State of Virginia to rewrite the laws that govern parole in Virginia; (3) a federal take-over of the Virginia parole system until it follows the rule in Alleyne v. United States, 570 U.S. 99 (2013); (4) the release all inmates whose rights were violated by the Virginia parole system; (5) restitution for all inmates denied parole for the reason of "current offense"; (6) costs for this lawsuit; (7) a court order directing the Governor of Virginia to appoint Parole Board Members that are in compliance with the Sixth Amendment; and (8) immediate release of the Plaintiff with restitution. (Compl. 19; Mot. to Amend 2 [ECF No. 12].)

         Defendants filed a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss and Plaintiff responded, making this matter ripe for disposition. After reviewing the ...


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