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William Dinkins and Eugene Ivey are Massachusetts state prisoners serving life sentences with other sentences running consecutive to the life sentences. Under the regulation, the parole board must first grant them parole from the life sentences, then they begin serving the consecutive sentences. They will not be released from prison until granted parole from the last consecutive sentence. Ivey was granted parole from his life sentence in 2020 but remained in prison serving three concurrent four-to-five-year sentences.

The plaintiffs filed a complaint in state court seeking to invalidate the regulation. The trial court granted defendants’ summary judgment after finding the regulation to be valid. Aided by attorney Ryan M. Schiff, plaintiffs filed an application for direct judicial review by the Supreme Judicial Court.

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