Consecutive Sentences Parole Eligibility In Texas

In Ex parte Kuester, 21 S.W.3d 264 (Tex. Crim. App. 2000), the applicant had consecutive sentences of ten years and four years. When TDCJ-ID received the information on the second sentence, it recalculated his parole eligibility by cumulating the sentences to reflect a sentence of fourteen years, as was the practice at the time. Id. at 265. Thereafter, in 1992, Kuester was released on parole. In 1997, after his 1993 revocation on the combined sentence, TDCJ-ID revised its procedures for calculating parole eligibility such that inmates did not accrue time credit for consecutive sentences until the prior sentence(s) had "ceased to operate." Id. Under the new procedures, Kuester was credited with beginning to serve the second sentence only after the Board of Pardons and Paroles ruled that the first sentence had "ceased to operate." Id. In his writ application, Kuester complained that TDCJ-ID was not giving him credit on the second sentence for pretrial jail time, prison time before his release to parole, or all of the time served since his revocation. He also sought credit for the time spent on parole, arguing that he had been released erroneously in 1992 because of the method used to calculate parole eligibility. Id. at 266. After considering what meaning should be placed on "ceased to operate," we held that it means the point at which the Board of Pardons and Paroles would have released the inmate on parole but for a pending consecutive sentence. Id. at 270. We went on to determine that, even using the procedures which came into use five years after his original release, Kuester had sufficient credit for proper parole on both cases and had not been erroneously released. The court therefore denied credit on both cases for the time spent on parole. Id. at 271-72.