U.S. First Circuit - The FindLaw 1st Circuit Court of Appeals News and Information Blog

Revocation of Electronic Supervision Program and Reimprisonment Constitutional

In Gonzalez-Fuentes v. Molina, No. 08-1818, the First Circuit faced a challenge, by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, of a district court's judgment in a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 suit brought by former inmates and a petition for habeas relief by inmates, re-imprisoned after being admitted into an electronic supervision program (ESP).

In reversing the judgment and vacating the permanent injunction, the court held that the district court erred in finding an ex post facto violation against either group.  The court also held that plaintiffs' substantive due process claim must fail as the decision to re-imprison plaintiffs following their time participating in the ESP does not in itself shock the conscience. With respect to the proceudral due process claim, the court held that plaintiffs' arrangement was sufficiently similar to traditional parole - far more like parole than the work release program in Dominique - to merit protection under the Due Process Clause.  Lastly, the court held that, because Public Law 49 provides a valid, independent basis for the deprivation of liberty, any procedural due process violations do not justify the respective remedies that the two sets of plaintiffs have requested.  

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