Kura, Wilford & Schregardus Co., L.P.A.

Kura, Wilford & Schregardus Co., L.P.A.

Kura, Wilford & Schregardus Co., L.P.A. - The Ohio Parole Board
Kura & Wilford Co., L.P.A.
The Ohio Parole Board
  Although an inmate does not have a right to have an attorney present during most Parole Board proceedings, the assistance, both before and after any hearing, of an experienced attorney who understands the system can be invaluable to the inmate and his/her family. Kura, Wilford & Schregardus Co., L.P.A. intersects the parole realm in three areas.  
  Representation At A Parole Release Hearing:  
  Most parole release considerations begin with a Parole Release Hearing, conducted at a prison, by a Parole Board panel. This hearing is accomplished at most prisons by tele-video conferencing, but in some prisons by a face-to-face meeting with the panel. A Parole Board panel of four Board Members often conducts the tele-video hearing of offenders serving a life sentence, or prison terms for Voluntary or Involuntary Manslaughter, or for sex offenses. A Parole Board panel generally includes one Parole Board Member and one Parole Hearing Officer.

Because no one other than the potential parolee is permitted to attend this hearing, our representation focuses on indirectly influencing the panel’s consideration, using one of two methods: (1) submission of written materials addressing issues under the release factors set forth under the Ohio Administrative Rules, which the Board is required to consider, or (2) appearance (with or without family members) at an Offender Family Conference, scheduled the month prior to the panel release hearing; a summarized report of the Offender Family Conference is entered into the Parole Board’s computerized database and accessed by the panel members during the Parole Release Hearing.  Panel hearings can result in various dispositions. When retained for an upcoming parole hearing, Kura, Wilford & Schregardus Co., L.P.A. provides legal representation for any future panel release hearing until the client is released from prison.
  Reconsideration Request:  
  Contact with Kura, Wilford & Schregardus Co., L.P.A. is often made in the wake of an unsuccessful Parole Release Hearing.  In such cases, we file a Request for Reconsideration, asking that the Parole Board vote to “rescind and rehear” the case.  If the Parole Board votes to grant this request, the previous Parole Board action is vacated and another Panel Release Hearing scheduled, usually 60 days after the request is granted.

Filing a Request for Reconsideration requires a thorough knowledge of the facts of the case and the history of prior parole proceedings.  In this situation, Kura, Wilford & Schregardus Co., L.P.A. must identify grounds for impeaching the factual foundation and resulting analysis and conclusions of the prior Parole Release Hearing decision and present a persuasive argument that this decision was erroneous.
  Open Full Board Hearing:  
  Under Ohio law, a decision to grant parole to an offender may be challenged, before the inmate is released, by a contested hearing before the full Parole Board (seven members). After hearing presentations in behalf of the inmate and in behalf of the victims and/or other challengers, the Board retires into executive decision, then returns to the hearing to announce its decision of whether or not to grant parole.

In cases of Aggravated Murder and Murder, certain relatives of the victim have an absolute right to challenge the initial parole decision in an Open Hearing, even where they have successfully challenged a parole decision in the past. In other cases, Ohio law provides certain people with the right to request a hearing to challenge the initial parole decision, and the Board votes to decide whether to hold a hearing on the challenge or not. Experience shows that the Board is generally very deferential to such requests.

An Open Hearing is unique in that it is the only type of parole hearing in which persons other than the inmate may be present, such as a legal representative and supporters of the inmate’s release. Although the inmate is not permitted to attend the Open Hearing, the inmate’s representatives can address the Parole Board with arguments in favor of the inmate’s release, and hear the arguments and statements of those opposing parole.

Legal representation at an Open Hearing can be crucial in presenting the inmate’s case for release, and possibly rebutting arguments made by victims as to why parole should not be granted. It is common for victims to have the assistance of a Prosecuting Attorney or a representative from the Office of Victim Services in presenting the case against parole; the inmate should have equal professional advocacy in his/her behalf.

Statistics reveal that over the past ten years, the Parole Board has become increasingly deferential to victim-based challenges in Open Hearings. Currently, two out of three challenges result in denial of parole. Under these circumstances, it is important to present the best case possible in behalf of the inmate.


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