699 F.2d 1012 (9th Cir. 1983), 82-1453, United States v. Chiago

Docket Nº:82-1453.
Citation:699 F.2d 1012
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Sanford Darrell CHIAGO, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:February 23, 1983
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
 
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Page 1012

699 F.2d 1012 (9th Cir. 1983)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

Sanford Darrell CHIAGO, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 82-1453.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

February 23, 1983

Argued and Submitted Jan. 10, 1983.

Page 1013

John P. Moran, Phoenix, Ariz., for defendant-appellant.

Susan A. Ehrlich, A. Melvin McDonald Asst. U.S. Attys., Phoenix, Ariz., for plaintiff-appellee.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.

Before TANG and ALARCON, Circuit Judges, and TAYLOR [*], District Judge.

ALARCON, Circuit Judge.

Sanford Darrell Chiago appeals from the judgment of the district court sentencing him to consecutive prison terms of life imprisonment on a conviction for first-degree murder, 18 U.S.C. Secs. 1111, 1153, and twenty-five years on a conviction of robbery of a postal employee, 18 U.S.C. Secs. 2112, 2114. Chiago pleaded guilty to both crimes.

On appeal, Chiago contends that: (1) the district court violated his constitutional right to due process by recommending that the United States Parole Commission (Commission) consider a photograph of the victim in reaching a determination as to Chiago's parole eligibility; and (2) the district court abused its discretion in sentencing the defendant to consecutive terms of imprisonment. We affirm.

I. PERTINENT FACTS

The district court included a recommendation to the Commission that Chiago not be paroled. To support this recommendation, the district court stated that it would submit to the Commission "a photograph of the victim showing the nature and extent of the injuries inflicted upon her." The victim had been beaten and stabbed several times in the chest, and her throat had been slashed. 1 The coroner's photographs depict the injuries. In imposing the sentence, the district court stated:

I call your attention--your particular attention, to the fact that during the period of time that the four of you were in the automobile, that you rode in the front seat, that you committed physical and abusive assaults on Karen Green, that you repeatedly stabbed her, that you showed a total lack of concern for her, and that your activities on that occasion demonstrated a wanton and depraved spirit of mind, that you were bent on evil without regard as to its consequences.

II. ANALYSIS

Chiago argues that the inclusion of a photograph of the murder victim in his file was a violation of due process. The government contends that the issue is not ripe for review because Chiago will not be eligible for parole until sometime in the future. We disagree.

In our view, the issue is ripe for review because resolution of the issue is not dependent upon future factual developments and Chiago may suffer hardship if we decline review. Prison officials will have access to the file prior to Chiago's parole eligibility date. Decisions concerning classification, level of custody and place of confinement may be affected by the presence of the photograph in the file. See Abbott Laboratories v. Gardner, 387 U.S. 136, 149-

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54, 87 S.Ct. 1507, 1515-18, 18 L.Ed.2d 681 (1967)...

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