VERONZA L. BOWERS, JR., Petitioner - Appellant,
UNITED STATES PAROLE COMMISSION, WARDEN, Respondents - Appellees
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. D.C. Docket No. 1:08-cv-02095-JOF.
For Veronza L. Bowers, Jr., Petitioner - Appellant: A. Stephens Clay, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, LLP, Atlanta, GA; Theodore D. Frank, Arnold & Porter, LLP, Washington, DC; Curtis Allen Garrett Jr., Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, LLP, Atlanta, GA; Bryan Gaynor, Law Office of Bryan Gaynor, Arcata, CA; Thomas W. Stoever Jr., Arnold & Porter, LLP, Denver, CO; Charles Weisselberg, University of California, Berkeley, CA.
For U.S. Parole Commission, Warden, Respondents - Appellees: Robert David Powell, Lawrence R. Sommerfeld, Sally Yates, U.S. Attorney's Office, Atlanta, GA.
Before WILSON and DUBINA, Circuit Judges, and MIDDLEBROOKS,[*] District Judge.
WILSON, Circuit Judge.
Upon reconsideration of this appeal, we vacate our prior opinion, issued on March 14, 2014 and published at 745 F.3d 1127, and substitute the following in its place.
Veronza L. Bowers, who is serving a life sentence for the 1973 murder of a United States Park Ranger, appeals the district court's denial of his motions for discovery and leave to amend his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, as well as the district court's determination that the United States Parole Commission did not violate the mandate handed down by this court in Bowers v. Keller, 651 F.3d 1277 (11th Cir. 2011) (per curiam). Because the district court took an overly narrow view of our mandate, we conclude that the district court abused its discretion in denying Bowers's motions for discovery and leave to amend.
On May 17, 2005, Bowers received a Notice of Action from the Parole Commission, notifying him that he had been granted mandatory parole, effective June 21, 2005. Prior to the parole date, Parole
Commissioner Deborah Spagnoli, acting on her own, sent a fourteen-page memorandum to the Attorney General's office discussing whether the Attorney General should, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4215(c), request that the Parole Commission review its decision to grant Bowers mandatory parole. The Attorney General made such a request, and, on June 14, 2005, the Parole Commission voted to reopen Bowers's case.
The Parole Commission met on October 6, 2005, after receiving comments from both the Attorney General and Bowers, and voted to deny mandatory parole. The Parole Commission unanimously agreed that an escape attempt made by Bowers in 1979 constituted a serious violation of institution rules, thus precluding the Parole Commission from granting mandatory parole. See 18 U.S.C. § 4206(d). Additionally, a majority of the Parole Commission determined that Bowers was " likely to commit a crime in the future" based on its belief that the murder committed by Bowers " was motivated by [his] attitude ...