Bill Ring petitions this Court for habeas corpus relief,
contending that his sentence is illegal because his
sentencing's oral judgment does not conform with his
Second Amended Judgment and Commitment, issued by
the First Judicial District Court, Lewis and Clark County, on
January 2, 2015. (Emphasis in original). Ring cites to §
46-18-116, MCA, and contends: "The way [his] [Judgment]
is written it would hinder [his] right to parole." He
lists several Montana cases to support his claim that his
written judgment is illegal.
Court is familiar with Ring's history. A jury found
Randy Bill Ring guilty of incest on February 16, 2012. On
June 14, 2012, the First Judicial District Court, Lewis and
Clark County, sentenced him to the Montana State Prison for a
twenty-year term (hereinafter 2012 sentence). The 2012
sentence was to be served consecutive to a prior sentence for
forgery in the Third Judicial District Court, Powell County.
On September 4, 2012, the Lewis and Clark County Attorney
filed a motion to amend Ring's Judgment and Commitment
asserting the 2012 sentence should have run consecutively to
his sentence imposed in federal court as well as his sentence
from Powell County District Court. On September 5, 2012, the
Lewis and Clark County District Court issued an Amended
Judgment and Commitment and revised the sentence:
[T]hat for the felony offense of INCEST, the defendant is
sentenced to Montana State Prison for twenty (20) years, said
sentence to run consecutively to the sentences
imposed upon the defendant federally and in Cause
No. DC-06-03, Montana Third Judicial District Court, Powell
Judgment and Commitment, p. 2 (First Judicial Dist. Ct.,
Lewis and Clark Co., Mont. Sept. 5, 2012) (emphasis in
counsel, Ring timely appealed his 2012 conviction and
sentence. This Court affirmed Ring's conviction in a
February 25, 2014 decision. State v. Ring, 2014 MT
49, 374 Mont. 109, 321 P.3d 800. We remanded to the Lewis and
Clark County District Court to strike the conditions because
Ring had no suspended sentence and thus, the conditions would
be for parole. Ring, ¶¶ 34, 39. The
District Court then issued its Second Amended
Judgment and Commitment on January 2, 2015. The court
restated the previous conditions as recommendations for
parole. "The [c]ourt recommends to the Montana Board of
Pardons and Parole [Board] to condition the defendant's
eligibility for parole upon his successful completion of SOP
I and SOP II at Montana State Prison." Second
Amended Judgment and Commitment, at 3 (Mont. First
Judicial Dist. Ct., Lewis and Clark County Jan. 2, 2015).
does not have an illegal judgment or sentence. The District
Court recommended to the Board the two phases of sex offender
program (SOP) treatment that Ring should complete before
parole eligibility in compliance with this Court's
Opinion on remand. Ring, ¶ 39. The District
Court is only correcting the judgment after remand from an
appellate court. See § 46-18-116(3), MCA;
State v. Christianson, 199 MT 156, ¶ 23, 295
Mont. 100, 983 P.2d 909. Ring's argument that his oral
judgment does not conform to his written judgment also fails.
The time has run. In the January 2, 2015 Second
Amended Judgment and Commitment, as attached to his
petition, the court stated that pursuant to § 46-18-116,
MCA, Ring would have 120 days to present any conflict. Ring
has raised this issue some four years later.
has not demonstrated an illegal incarceration in his
petition. Section 46-22-101(1), MCA. We have stated before
that "no discrepancy exists between the oral judgment
and the written judgments for the 2012 sentence."
Ring v. State, No OP 17-0408, Order, at 4 (Mont.
Oct. 3, 2017). No amendment or correction in 2015 by the
District Court changes that conclusion. Ring is correct that
the court's SOP recommendation affects his consideration
for parole, but it does not hinder his right to parole.
Parole considerations, however, are within the Board's
broad discretion, and not with this Court. McDermott v.
McDonald, 2001 MT 89, ¶¶ 24-25, 305 Mont. 166,
24 P.3d 200. Ring has a lawful sentence and he is not
entitled to habeas corpus relief. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED
that Ring's Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus is
Clerk is directed to provide a copy of this Order to counsel
of record and to Randy Bill Ring personally.
State v. Ring, No. DA
16-0727, 2018 MT 4ON, Mont., P.3d; Ring v. State,
No. OP 17-0408, 390 Mont. 423, 410 P.3d 173 (table); and
State v. Ring, No. DA 12-0457, 2014 MT 49, ...