MICHAEL P. ANSELMO, Petitioner,
CONNIE BISBEE, CHAIRMAN; SUSAN JACKSON, TONY CORDA, ADAM ENDEL, COMMISSIONERS; AND THE STATE OF NEVADA BOARD OF PAROLE, Real Parties in Interest.
petition for extraordinary relief requesting the Parole Board
to reconsider its decision to deny parole partially based on
an inapplicable aggravating factor.
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, and Kirk B. Lenhard and
Emily A. Ellis, Las Vegas, for Petitioner.
Paul Laxalt, Attorney General, Jeffrey M. Conner, Assistant
Solicitor General, and Daniel M. Roche, Deputy Attorney
General, Carson City, for Real Parties in Interest.
HARDESTY, PARRAGUIRRE and STIGLICH, JJ.
an inmate does not have any protectable due process or
liberty interest in release on parole, unless that right is
created by state statute. Given the clear discretionary
language of Nevada's parole statute, this court has
consistently held that Nevada inmates have no protectable
liberty interest in release on parole. Accordingly, this
court will not disturb a determination of the Nevada Parole
Board (Board) to deny parole for any reason authorized by
regulation or statute.
eligible Nevada inmates do have a statutory right to be
considered for parole by the Board. When the Board clearly
misapplies its own internal guidelines in assessing whether
to grant parole, this court cannot say that the inmate
received the consideration to which they are statutorily
entitled. Therefore, under the limited circumstances
presented in this case, we conclude that a new parole hearing
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
1972, appellant Michael P.. Anselmo was convicted of murder
and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of
parole. He sustained subsequent convictions for escape in
1976 and 1977, and was sentenced to a consecutive ten years
for each conviction.
next twenty years, Anselmo largely became a model prisoner.
In 2006, the Pardons Board commuted his sentences to life
with the possibility of parole after five years, with one
concurrent ten-year sentence, and one consecutive ten-year
2006 and 2012, Anselmo appeared before the Parole Board on
three separate occasions. Each time, the Board denied parole,
primarily citing to the seriousness of Anselmo's
underlying offense and/or the impact of his offense on the
appeared before the Parole Board for the hearing at issue on
November 17, 2014. Pursuant to the standards promulgated in
the Nevada Administrative Code, the Board completed a Parole
Risk Assessment, which assigned Anselmo's offense a
"severity level" of "[h]ighest, " and
Anselmo a "[r]isk [s]core" of "[l]ow, "
indicating that the Board should consider certain aggravating
and mitigating factors in determining whether parole was
mitigating factors, the Board noted that Anselmo had not
committed a disciplinary infraction since 2007, had community
or family support, would be paroled to his pending escape
sentence, and had participated in extensive educational
programming. As aggravating factors, the Board noted the
impact on the victim and/or community, that Anselmo had
sustained two convictions for escape while incarcerated, and
that the "[n]ature of criminal record is increasingly
more serious: Previous offenses are property crimes."
three hearing members who conducted the parole hearing
recommended granting parole. That recommendation was not,
however, ratified by a majority of the Board, as the
remaining four Board members voted to deny parole. The
Board's written decision indicated that the
"[n]ature of criminal record is increasingly more
serious" and the "[i]mpact on victim(s) and/or