Is a prematurely released prisoner entitled to an opportunity to argue that his minimum sentence was improperly calculated?

"New York", United States of America

The following excerpt is from People ex rel. Spinks v. Harris, 422 N.E.2d 569, 439 N.Y.S.2d 909, 53 N.Y.2d 784 (N.Y. 1981):

While it may be true that due process considerations would generally require that a prematurely released prisoner be given an opportunity to be heard on the issue of whether his minimum sentence was properly calculated, no such procedure is required where, as here, the prisoner concedes that his initial release was improper. Moreover, as a procedural matter, the writ of habeas corpus does not lie where the sole relief available is an order authorizing an opportunity to be heard. Such a writ operates on the person of the petitioner and is available only where petitioner can demonstrate a right to immediate release from custody. (People ex rel. Douglas v. Vincent, 50 N.Y.2d 901, 903, 431 N.Y.S.2d 518, 409 N.E.2d 990.) Thus, even if the propriety of petitioner's release were still a matter of some dispute, habeas corpus would not lie because, at most, he would be entitled to an opportunity to be heard and not to immediate release.

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