United States District Court, D. Maryland
Xinis United States District Judge
Tyrone Green, a Maryland Division of Correction inmate housed
at Patuxent Institution, filed this civil rights complaint
against David R. Blumberg, Chair of the Maryland Parole
Commission (MPC). Green is serving a life sentence for a
murder committed when he was a juvenile. ECF No.
Green alleges that his August 11, 2016 parole hearing was
held prior to the effective date of Maryland regulations
governing parole considerations for “juvenile
lifers”, and thus he has not received a “juvenile
lifer parole hearing.” Id. at p. 4. As relief,
Green seeks money damages and a new parole hearing during
which his parole eligibility will be considered under the
newly codified regulations.
Blumberg has moved to dismiss the Complaint or alternatively
for summary judgment in his favor. ECF No. 11. The Court
notified Green of his right to file a timely written response
to Commissioner Blumberg's motion and that failure to do
so may result in an adverse ruling without further notice or
opportunity to be heard. ECF No. 12. See Roseboro v.
Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975). The Court
subsequently extended Green's time to respond but he has
failed to do so. See ECF No. 14. For the following
reasons, the Court will stay this case, deferring final
disposition so that Blumberg may address the possible impact
of pending related litigation challenging the
constitutionality of the Maryland Parole Commission system as
applied to “juvenile lifers.”
does not contest that Green is a “juvenile
lifer.” Green was sentenced to life imprisonment with
all but 50 years suspended and five years' probation,
commencing August 20, 1993, for first-degree murder committed
before he turned 18. See ECF No. 11-2, Decl. of David
R. Blumberg ¶ 3; ECF No. 11-3, pp. 1-2; see also
Green v. Morgan, Civil Action No. PX-18-1965 (D. Md.),
State Record, ECF No. 8-1.
August 11, 2016, Green received a parole hearing. Shortly
before that hearing, the Department of Public Safety and
Correctional Services (DPSCS) proposed amending pertinent
regulations (COMAR §§ 12.08.01.17 and 12.08.01.18)
pursuant to the emergency process provided in the
Administrative Procedure Act (APA), Md. Code Ann., State
Gov't §§ 10-101 through 10-118; Blumberg Decl.
¶ 5, ECF No. 11-2. The proposed amendments to COMAR
12.08.01.18 enumerated additional factors for the Maryland
Parole Commission's consideration, including at the time
the crime was committed (1) the inmate's age (2) level of
maturity and sense of responsibility; (3) whether the inmate
was subjected to the influence or pressure from others; (4)
home and family circumstances and (5) educational history.
The proposed factors also include (6) the inmate's
character development since the offense that supports future
compliance with release conditions and (7) any circumstances
that Commissioner determines to be relevant to the
juvenile's commission of the offense. Id.,
Blumberg Decl. ¶ 2. Although the proposed amendments
were submitted on an emergency basis, the Joint Committee on
Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review declined to
act until after receiving public comment. Blumberg Decl. ECF
No. 11-2, ¶ 6. In July of 2016, DPSCS submitted the
proposed regulations through the non-emergency process
provided under the APA. Id. The regulations took
effect on October 24, 2016. Id.: Attachment C; COMAR
12.08.01.17 and COMAR 12.08.01.18; see also ECF Nos.
11-9 and 11-10. During this process, and prior to the
regulations taking effect, the Commission made the proposed
amendments available to eligible inmates and considered the
additional factors at relevant parole hearings. Blumberg
Decl., ECF No. 11-2, ¶ 7.
Commissioners considered the proposed regulations at
Green's August 11, 2016 parole hearing. ECF No. 11-6, MPS
Parole Recommendation/Decision. After considering Mr.
Green's “age at the time of the offense and related
brain development issues, ” the Commissioners
determined parole would not be granted. Given the severity of
the crime and Green's adjustment to prison programming,
the Commissioners set Green's next opportunity to be
considered for parole as August of 2023. Id. Green
did not pursue direct review of this decision in state court.
ECF No. 11-2, ¶ 8.
October 6, 2017, Green wrote to Ruth Ogle of the Parole
Commission to request “a month and date for [his]
juvenile lifers [sic] parole hearing.” ECF No. 11-7. On
October 13, 2017, Ms. Ogle informed Green that “[t]he
Parole Commission was already aware of the additional factors
to be considered at the time your hearing was
conducted.” Ogle further informed Green that the
Commission's decision to deny parole and schedule the
next hearing for August 2023 “took into account those
factors.” ECF No. 11-8. In this respect, the evidence
submitted by Blumberg supports that the Commission took into
account “juvenile lifer” factors at Green's
the Court also recognizes that potentially related
litigation, Maryland Restorative Justice Initiative, et
al. v. Hogan, et al., Civil Action No. ELH-16-1021 (D.
Md.) (“MRJI v. Hogan”), presents a broad
challenge to the constitutionality of the parole system as
applied to “juvenile lifer” inmates. The
plaintiffs in MJRI v. Hogan allege systemic denial
for juvenile lifers of “a meaningful opportunity for
release, ” in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the
Constitution of the United States and Article 25 of the
Maryland Declaration of Rights, the practical effect of which
results in “de facto” sentences of life without
parole for all juvenile lifers. Id. ECF No. 1
¶¶ 11-12, 167-185; ECF No. 65, p. 2. “Of more
than 200 parole-eligible juvenile lifers in Maryland, ”
the Complaint maintains, “no one has been
paroled in the last twenty years.” ECF No. 35, p. 8
(emphasis in original); ECF No. 1, ¶¶ 58; 64; 74;
117, 119; ECF No. 65, p. 2.
from Blumberg's motion is discussion of what, if any,
impact MRJI v. Hogan may have on Green's claim.
The Court declines to adjudicate the motion without further
treatment of this issue. Accordingly, the Court hereby STAYS
this case to allow Blumberg to supplement the record
consistent with this opinion. Blumberg is granted until
October 14, 2019 to supplement his motion
accordingly. A separate Order follows.
 This order references pagination
assigned through the Court's electronic docketing
 In addition to the life sentence, Mr.
Green also is serving a concurrent 20-year sentence for
robbery with a deadly weapon, a concurrent 20-year sentence
for attempted robbery with a deadly weapon, and a concurrent