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Mississippi Department of Corrections v. Boyd

Supreme Court of Mississippi, En Banc

January 26, 2017

MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
v.
ROBERT BOYD

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 09/18/2015

         COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: SUNFLOWER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. CAROL L. WHITE-RICHARD, JUDGE

         REVERSED AND RENDERED

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: ANTHONY L. SCHMIDT, JR. OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: DARRELL C. BAUGHN

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: ROBERT BOYD (PRO SE)

          CHAMBERLIN, JUSTICE

         ¶1. The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) appeals the Sunflower County Circuit Court's decision requiring it to develop a parole case plan for Robert Boyd. We reverse and render.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. In 1986, Boyd was convicted of murder and two counts of aggravated assault. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder, and to four years for each aggravated assault. In May 2001, MDOC released Boyd on parole. But eight years later, he absconded supervision and his parole was revoked. Boyd was released on parole a second time in September 2010, but again violated the terms of his parole and it was revoked in 2013.

         ¶3. In July 2015, Boyd asked MDOC to implement a parole case plan for him in accordance with newly enacted Mississippi Code Section 47-7-3.1.[1] Boyd filed his "first step" with MDOC's Administrative Remedy Program (ARP).[2] In response, MDOC said that House Bill 585 was not retroactive and that it applied only to those offenders sentenced on or after July 1, 2014. MDOC informed Boyd that he was not entitled to a parole case plan, but that he would "continue to be considered for Parole Docket and be reviewed by the Parole Board." Boyd proceeded to ARP's "second step, " and MDOC again informed him that he was not entitled to a parole case plan.

         ¶4. Boyd then filed a motion for judicial review in the Circuit Court of Sunflower County, [3] and the circuit judge reversed MDOC's decision, finding that Section 47-7-3.1 applied retroactively to offenders sentenced before July 1, 2014. After that ruling, Boyd filed a motion for clarification of order, asking the trial court to "clarify [its] order of reversal to include specific instructions to MDOC to issue a 'case plan' to [him]." MDOC responded with a motion to stay enforcement of the trial court's order until this Court issued an opinion in Fisher v. Drankus, 204 So.3d 1232 (Miss. 2016). MDOC also appealed to this Court. The circuit judge then denied Boyd's motion for clarification as untimely and granted MDOC's motion to stay. On appeal, MDOC presents two arguments:

1. Boyd is not eligible to receive a parole case plan pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. § 47-7-3.1, since he was convicted prior to July 1, 2014; and
2. Boyd is not eligible for "presumptive parole" pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. ยง 47-7-18, since he was convicted ...

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