Prisoner Unsuitable for Parole for Failure to Accept Responsibility

In In re Shaputis (2008) 44 Cal.4th 1241, the Supreme Court concluded that "some evidence" supported the Governor's conclusion that the prisoner was unsuitable for parole in light of the gravity of the second degree murder he committed, his lack of insight into the offense, and his failure to accept responsibility for his actions. (Shaputis, supra, 44 Cal.4th at p. 1246.) With respect to the circumstances of the offense, the record contained evidence that Shaputis intentionally killed his wife by shooting her in the neck with a gun, at close range. (Id. at p. 1248.) There was evidence that Shaputis had been "drinking heavily" on the night of the murder, and that he was "a problem drinker with a history of violence when drunk." (Id. at p. 1247.) Although the commitment offense was Shaputis's first felony conviction, he had a "long and sometimes violent criminal history" (id. at p. 1248), and had perpetrated both physical and sexual abuse upon various family members (id. at pp. 1246-1248). Shaputis acknowledged that his conduct in killing his wife was "'wrong,'" and the Supreme Court noted that the record contained evidence that Shaputis felt "some remorse" for the crime. (Shaputis, supra, 44 Cal.4th at p. 1260.) However, Shaputis maintained throughout several parole proceedings that the shooting had been an accident. (Id. at pp. 1249-1250.) During Shaputis's most recent parole hearing, when asked whether he had a problem in the way in which he treated women, Shaputis responded: "'Well, no I don't. I don't know how to say that I don't have a problem now. I didn't have a--I guess I had a problem then but I don't know how to put it into pictures or words. I just--It was one of those things I didn't quite understand, I guess. Not having a thorough idea of how stupid I was being, how dumb I was being.'" (Id. at p. 1252.) Psychological reports prepared in connection with Shaputis's parole proceedings generally concluded that he presented a low risk for violence if paroled, absent a relapse into alcoholism. (Ibid.) However, the reports also noted that Shaputis demonstrated a lack of insight into his prior behavior and that he appeared to have limited interpersonal skills. (Ibid.)