The opinion of the court was delivered by: EMMET SULLIVAN, District Judge
On April 8, 2002, petitioner Lawrence Davis filed a Petition for a Writ
of Habeas Corpus seeking release from custody at the District of Columbia
Jail. Petitioner alleges that the revocation of his presumptive parole
date, a decision initially made without an evidentiary hearing, violated
his due process rights and his "liberty interest in remaining free." Pet.
at 4. While petitioner seeks his release from confinement, he also
originally sought "a [parole] rescission hearing . . . [with] the
opportunity to challenge the evidence and confront his accusers."
Pending before the Court is the United States' Motion to Dismiss the
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus. The United States argues that after
the petition was filed, petitioner
received a special reconsideration hearing regarding his parole date
rescission, and thus the petition is now moot. Upon careful consideration
of the motion, the response and reply thereto, petitioner's supplemental
memorandum, the governing statutory and case law, and for the following
reasons, it is by the Court hereby ORDERED that defendant's Motion to
Dismiss is GRANTED.
II. Factual and Procedural Background
In 1994, petitioner was sentenced in the Superior Court of the District
of Columbia to six to eighteen years incarceration for attempted
distribution of cocaine. He was paroled and released to the community in
October of 1998. Prior to his release, petitioner's wife, Elizabeth
Singleton, procured a civil protection order, prohibiting petitioner from
contacting her or assaulting her in any way, and also ordering him to
stay at least 100 feet away from his wife's person, home, and work place.
On December 15, 1998, petitioner was arrested and charged with First
Degree Sexual Abuse of Ms. Singleton. Petitioner appeared in court on
December 16, 1998, and the charge was no papered. However, while Ms.
Singleton was still in the courtroom on December 16th, awaiting the
court's decision on the sexual abuse charge, the defendant allegedly
whispered in her ear, "Bitch, you
broke your promise, now it's time to die." Ms. Singleton filed a
complaint, alleging that petitioner had threatened her. The U.S.
Probation Office asked Ms. Singleton to sign a statement about her
allegations, but she did not. Despite the threat, the U.S. Probation
Office recommended that petitioner remain on supervision pending the
final disposition of his case.
On March 23, 1999, Ivy Moorfield, Ms. Singleton's sister, called the
Commission and stated that petitioner had murdered Ms. Singleton. The
U.S. Probation Office informed the Commission that the petitioner was a
suspect in the murder, but had not been arrested or charged.
On March 26, 1999, the Probation Office requested the issuance of a
warrant for petitioner for his failure to report a December 26, 1998,
arrest on an outstanding warrant for domestic assault. The Commission did
so, charging him with failing to report the arrest as well as violating
the 1998 civil protection order by going to Ms. Singleton's residence on
December 15, 1998. On April 27, 1999, following a preliminary interview,
the Commission notified petitioner that it had found probable cause to
hold him for a parole revocation hearing. On May 6, 1999, petitioner pled
guilty to one count of violating a civil protection order, and received a
180 day sentence.
On July 9, 1999, the Commission notified petitioner that he was also
being charged with violating the civil protection order for his threat to
kill his wife during the December 16, 1998, court hearing. Petitioner was
represented by counsel at the July 20, 1999, parole revocation hearing,
and the hearing examiner determined that petitioner had violated his
parole. The examiner found that the most serious violation was
petitioner's December 16, 1999, threat to kill his wife. According to the
parole hearing summary, petitioner was asked how his wife was killed.
However, the examiner did not make a finding on the topic of the murder,
and the hearing report does not indicate that his wife's death was a
factor considered in the parole revocation. See United States' Ex. 0,
Revocation Hearing Summary. On August 27, 1999, the Commission issued a
Notice of Action revoking petitioner's previous parole date and setting a
presumptive parole date of November 29, 2002. However, after an interim
hearing on July 17, 2001, the Commission modified the violation
severity, and established an earlier parole date of January 18, 2002.
After the July 17, 2001, interim hearing the Commission's legal office
learned for the first time that a grand jury was considering petitioner's
involvement in his wife's murder. As a result of this information, the
Executive Hearing Examiner
recommended that petitioner not be reparoled. On January 2, 2002,
the Commission reopened petitioner's case and rescinded his presumptive
parole date, citing the fact that petitioner was the subject of an
official investigation for the murder of his wife. The Commission
informed petitioner that he would be scheduled for a reconsideration
hearing as soon as the pending criminal investigation against him was
Petitioner filed the instant habeas petition on April 8, 2002, alleging
that an evidentiary hearing had never been held regarding his
responsibility for his wife's murder. The government subsequently
conducted a special reconsideration hearing on June 17, 2003. The hearing
examiner determined by a preponderance of the evidence that petitioner
had murdered Elizabeth Singleton. In explaining the finding, the examiner
cited videotaped testimony from petitioner's 5-year-old son, taken the
day after Ms. Singleton was murdered, in which the son described in
detail being at Ms. Singleton's house with his father the day of the
murder, waiting outside in the car and hearing sounds of a fight, and
then going to his father's friends house in order for his father to "wash
dishes" (which the hearing examiner inferred were possibly the knives
used to stab Ms. Singleton); evidence that petitioner's DNA was found
under Ms. Singleton's fingernails; and evidence that two knives were
in petitioner's car. See United States' Ex. V. The examiner recommended
that the petitioner continue his term until expiration, and the
Commission adopted the examiner's recommendation on July 11, 2003.
The United States moves to dismiss the petition on the grounds that, as
the Commission subsequently conducted a special reconsideration hearing,
petitioner has received all the relief to which he is entitled, and the
petition is now moot. Petitioner advances three main arguments against
dismissal: (1) that the United States did not have authority to reopen
the parole decision and revoke the petitioner's presumptive parole date;
(2) that the June 17, 2003, hearing was fundamentally unfair; and (3)
that his ...