Thursday, March 29, 2012

In Re Morganti (Cal. Ct. App. - March 28, 2012)

Here's the introductory paragraph to this opinion, which accurately summarizes what it's all about:

"The People appeal from an order granting Christopher Morganti's petition for a writ of habeas corpus and directing the Board of Parole Hearings (the Board) to hold a new hearing to determine whether to fix a release date for Morganti. Like the trial court, we conclude that, even applying the ultra-lenient 'some evidence' standard, the Board's decision that Morganti is unsuitable for parole cannot be upheld. Accordingly, we affirm the superior court's decision granting habeas corpus relief."

I liked Justice Richman's use of the phrase "ultra-lenient."  That's an adjective that I've never seen before, at least in legal writing.  So I decided to look it up.

This is indeed the first time a California case has ever used this term.  Moreover, as far as I can tell, this word has only been used twice before:  both times in Pennsylvania cases, with one of these occasions in 1970 (and another in 2005).

By contrast, the Clockwork Orange term "ultra-violent" has been used approximately twenty times.  Mostly to describe video games.  And, weirdly enough, around half the times, this term is erroneously used in place of "ultraviolet."

But now we've got a new phrase.  Ultra-lenient.  That I'm going to try to use often.