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The State ex rel. McDermott v. Ohio Adult Parole Authority

Supreme Court of Ohio

December 27, 2017

The State ex rel. McDermott, Appellant,
v.
Ohio Adult Parole Authority, Appellee.

          Submitted September 26, 2017

         Appeal from the Court of Appeals for Franklin County, No. 16AP-208, 2017-Ohio-754.

          John P. McDermott, pro se.

          Michael DeWine, Attorney General, and Zoe A. Lamberson, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          PER CURIAM.

         {¶ 1} We affirm the Tenth District Court of Appeals' denial of the petition for a writ of mandamus filed by appellant, John P. McDermott. That court correctly held that McDermott is not entitled to a writ of mandamus to compel appellee, Ohio Adult Parole Authority ("APA"), to correct alleged inaccuracies in its records and to hold a new parole hearing.

         Facts and Procedural History

         {¶ 2} In 1981, McDermott was convicted of a Geauga County murder and was sentenced to life in prison with parole eligibility after 15 years. The APA has denied McDermott parole several times.

         {¶ 3} McDermott's most recent parole hearing was held on August 14, 2015. The parole board's written decision and the minutes from the hearing indicate that the board considered the mandatory factors listed in Ohio Adm.Code 5120:1-1-07 and found "substantial reason to believe that due to the serious nature of the crime, the release of [McDermott] into society would create undue risk to public safety, or * * * would not further the interest of justice or be consistent with the welfare and security of society." The parole board provided the following rationale for denying parole:

The offender brutally stabbed the female victim to death while her minor children were in the house. He has completed programming, but lacks insight from said programming. The offender has gone some time without an infraction and does have a supportive family. After considering all relevant factors, the offender is not suitable for release and is continued 36 months.

         {¶ 4} On March 21, 2016, McDermott filed in the Tenth District Court of Appeals a petition for a writ of mandamus to which he attached several exhibits, alleging that the APA had considered inaccurate information when denying him parole in 2012 and in 2015. He contends that the APA had based its decisions to deny parole on its erroneous belief that he had a history of stalking the victim and that he violated a protection order when he entered the victim's home at the time of the murder. He seeks an order compelling the APA to correct "this false material" and provide him a "new and meaningful hearing completely free of any influence generated by these falsehoods."

         {¶ 5} The case was referred to a magistrate, who recommended that the writ be denied because McDermott "is not able to establish by clear and convincing evidence that [the APA] is considering inaccurate evidence and denying him parole based on that inaccurate evidence." 2017-Ohio-754, ¶ 47.

         {¶ 6} The court of appeals adopted the magistrate's findings of fact and conclusions of law and denied the ...


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