Richard Kyles v. Gerald Garrett, et al
UNPUBLISHED OPINION FILED. [10-40938 Affirmed ] Judge: EGJ , Judge: PEH , Judge: LHS Mandate pull date is 11/04/2011 [10-40938]
Date Filed: 10/14/2011
IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
United States Court of Appeals
FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT
October 14, 2011
Lyle W. Cayce
RICHARD DELANEY KYLES,
Plaintiff - Appellant
GERALD GARRETT; TROY FOX,
Defendants - Appellees
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Southern District of Texas
USDC No. 3:03-CV-53
Before JOLLY, HIGGINBOTHAM, and SOUTHWICK, Circuit Judges.
Richard Kyles was convicted of capital murder in 1976 and sentenced to
life in prison. He brought the instant § 1983 action in January 2003 in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, challenging the
constitutionality of a change to Texas’s parole procedures, specifically the socalled extraordinary vote provision. At the time Kyles committed murder, in
January 1975, Texas law provided that parole decisions were to be made by
majority vote of the state parole board. TEX . CODE CRIM. PROC. ANN. art.
Pursuant to 5TH CIR. R. 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not
be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5TH CIR.
Date Filed: 10/14/2011
42.12(C) § 13 (West 1974). Kyles alleges that the board at that time was
comprised of only three members. The board is currently comprised of seven
members but has included as many as eighteen in the past. In 1993, the Texas
legislature enacted the extraordinary vote provision, whereby parole decisions
for prisoners serving time for capital felonies could only be made by a two-thirds
vote of the entire parole board. TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. ANN. art. 42.18 § 7 (West
1996). The extraordinary vote provision was made retroactive in 1995. See id.
(legislative history notes). Kyles claims that applying the extraordinary vote
provision to his parole determinations violates the Ex Post Facto clause. He
seeks declaratory and injunctive relief.
This case has a winding procedural history, but for our purposes the
procedural posture is simple. The district court granted summary judgment to
the defendants/appellees based on alternative holdings: (1) Kyles unsuccessfully
challenged the constitutionality of the parole procedure in state and federal
habeas corpus proceedings, and the judgments in those proceedings preclude this
§ 1983 action; and (2) Kyles’s summary judgment evidence fails to raise genuine
issues of material fact on whether the parole procedures create a sufficient risk
of enhancing his punishment.
Although there is little authority on what preclusive effect should be given
to habeas proceedings in a later civil action, the general principles of res judicata
and collateral estoppel seem to clearly bar this action. With respect to the
merits of the case, Kyles presents some summary judgment evidence, but none
that demonstrates more than a speculative and attenuated chance of enhanced
punishment. The evidence he presents does not even relate to the parole
procedure that existed at the time he committed his offense.
We find that the district court committed no reversible error in granting
summary judgment. That judgment is
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