The Third Department, over a two-justice dissent, determined petitioner’s parole was properly rescinded after a rescission hearing was triggered by a victim impact hearing:
In August 2016, letters were sent from the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to the Albany County District Attorney’s office and the judge who imposed the sentence informing them that petitioner was scheduled to appear before respondent.Petitioner appeared before respondent in December 2017, after which he was granted parole with an open release date in February 2018. Thereafter, in January 2018, a victim impact hearing was held at which the victim’s mother and two brothers gave victim impact statements. After this hearing, petitioner was served with a notice of rescission hearing, which was subsequently held in February 2018. Following the rescission hearing, petitioner’s open release date was rescinded and a hold period of nine months was imposed. This determination was upheld on administrative appeal. Petitioner thereafter commenced this CPLR article 78 proceeding.
Petitioner argues that the victim impact statements and letters from the District Attorney’s office and sentencing judge disclosed no new facts about petitioner’s crime. … . … Although we agree that the letters should not have been considered as they did not reveal any information not previously known by respondent, this argument must fail with respect to the victim impact statements because neither the relevant regulation, nor the existing case law, requires that “new” information must be disclosed for parole to be rescinded (see 9 NYCRR 8002.5) … Simply stated, although the regulation provides that such information must be “significant” and “not known” by respondent at the time of the original hearing, the origin of this information need not be “new” … .
Here, respondent was presented with previously unknown information from the mother, including that she was so traumatized by her son’s death that she did everything she could to avoid thinking about it, including never visiting his grave. The mother explained that, in the 25 years since the victim’s death, she has not celebrated Christmas, Thanksgiving or her other sons’ birthdays. She described how she thought that, once petitioner went to prison, it was done, and that she was safe, but she no longer felt safe. Matter of Benson v New York State Bd. of Parole, 2019 NY Slip Op 07829, Third Dept 10-31-19