United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Galveston Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. HANKS JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Glenn Thomas Prince, an inmate in the Texas Department of
Criminal Justice-Correctional Institutions Division
(“TDCJ”), filed a petition for a federal writ of
habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 claiming that he
should be eligible for release on mandatory supervision.
Respondent filed a motion for summary judgment (Dkt. 10) and
supplied state court records (Dkt. 11). Plaintiff has filed a
response (Dkt. 12) and the motion is ripe for consideration.
Having considered the pleadings and filings, the applicable
legal authorities, and all matters of record, the Court will
grant summary judgment for the reasons
is serving a life sentence in TDCJ for a capital murder
conviction in the 262nd District Court of Harris County, Case
Number 892174. He was convicted on November 14, 2003, for a
murder he committed on March 13, 1982 (Dkt. 11-7, at 28-
On January 19, 2006, the Fourteenth Court of Appeals affirmed
Prince's conviction and sentence. Prince v.
State, 192 S.W.3d 49 (Tex. App.-Hou. [14th Dist.] 2006,
habeas petition does not challenge his underlying conviction.
Rather, Prince challenges TDCJ's decision that, because
he is serving a life sentence, he will never be eligible for
release on mandatory supervision. In 2018, Prince filed an
application for a state writ of habeas corpus challenging his
ineligibility for early release. The Texas Court of Criminal
Appeals denied the writ without written order on the trial
court's findings (Dkt. 11-2). Prince's federal habeas
petition, executed on July 26, 2018, also challenges his
ineligibility for early release.
claims that he should be released to mandatory supervision
when his “good conduct time” and his
“calendar time” adds up to 60 years (Dkt. 2, at
2). His argument relies on the 1977 version of Texas'
mandatory supervision law, which was in effect when he
committed the murder offense in 1982. Prince refers to the
1977 law as “Senate Bill 152” or the law from
Texas' “65th Legislature.” He claims that,
under the 1977 law, “his Life sentence equates to 60
years” (id.). In support, he presents a 2001
affidavit from Helen Copitka, a voting member of the Texas
Board of Pardons and Paroles from 1976-83, who avers that
when she was a board member “it was [her] understanding
that persons serving life sentences, who were not granted
parole, would automatically be released to Mandatory
Supervision when their flat time and accrued good time
equaled 60 years” (Dkt. 2-1, at 4). He also provides a
portion of Senate Bill 152 and directs the Court's
attention to § 15(b), which stated that death-sentenced
inmates were not eligible for parole but that other prisoners
were eligible “when their calendar time served plus
good conduct time equals one-third of the maximum sentence
imposed or 20 years, whichever is less” (id.
calculates that, in 2021 or 2022, he “will accumulate
the 60 years required for him to be released to mandatory
supervision” (Dkt. 2, at 18). He claims that he should be
eligible for release at that point, and therefore brings this
petition seeking “federal habeas corpus relief
concerning his Constitutionally protected interest of
Mandatory Supervision Release” (Dkt. 1, at 9).
2014, this Court rejected similar arguments from Prince in a
separate federal habeas petition that challenged a
disciplinary conviction. See Memorandum and Order
dated Feb. 21, 2014 (Dkt. 5 in Prince v. Davis,
Civil Action No. 3:13-0049 (S.D. Tex.)), at 3. The Court
denied Prince's petition for habeas relief because
“Texas inmates serving a life sentence are not eligible
for release under the Texas mandatory supervision statute and
have no constitutionally protected interest in any loss of
accrued good-time credits.” Id. (citing
Arnold v. Cockrell, 306 F.3d 277 (5th Cir. 2002);
Ex parte Franks, 71 S.W.3d 327 (Tex. Crim. App.
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure mandates the entry of
summary judgment “if the movant shows that there is no
genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(a); see Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317,
322-23 (1986); Curtis v. Anthony, 710 F.3d 587, 594
(5th Cir. 2013). Once the movant presents a properly
supported motion for summary judgment, the burden shifts to
the nonmovant to show with significant probative evidence the
existence of a genuine issue of material fact. Hamilton
v. Segue Software Inc., 232 F.3d 473, 477 (5th Cir.
2000). “A fact is ‘material' if its
resolution in favor of one party might affect the outcome of
the lawsuit under governing law.” Id.
“An issue is ‘genuine' if the evidence is
sufficient for a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the
nonmoving party.” Id. In deciding a summary
judgment motion, the reviewing court must “construe all
facts and inferences in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party.” Dillon v. Rogers, 596 F.3d
260, 266 (5th Cir. 2010) (internal citation and quotation
proceeds pro se. Federal courts do not hold pro
se habeas petitions “to the same stringent and
rigorous standards as . . . pleadings filed by
lawyers.” Hernandez v. Thaler, 630 F.3d 420,
426 (5th Cir. 2011) (internal quotation marks and citation
omitted). “The filings of a federal habeas petitioner
who is proceeding pro se are entitled to the benefit
of liberal construction.” Id.
petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 argues that his
ineligibility for mandatory supervision violates his
constitutional rights. He brings four claims:
(1) this Court should conduct a de novo review of
Arnold v. Cockrell, 306 F.3d 277 (5th Cir. 2002),
because the decision violates Prince's ...