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V. HABEAS CORPUS PART ONE. COLLATERAL ATTACK ON CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS
???????? Background IS THERE A CONSTITUTIONAL SOURCE OF HABEAS JURISDICTION? Ex Parte Bollman stated that the jurisdiction of federal courts to issue habeas relief was not inherent in Article III, but must be found in a statutory enactment. However, Boumediene held that the Suspension Clause provides jurisdiction for habeas review where no statute provides such jurisdiction, at least for petitions that would have been cognizable under the writ at the time of Framing. See Boumediene (The Suspension Clause ensures that, except during periods of formal suspension, the Judiciary will have a time-tested device, the writ, to main the "delicate balance of governance: that is itself the surest safeguard of liberty. The Clause affirm[s] the duty and authority ... of the Judiciary to call the jailer to account."). Because Boumediene holds that the Suspension Clause requires the existence of federal jurisdiction over habeas petitions against the Executive (except in cases of suspension), it must be understood (1) as overrunning Ex Parte Bollman's conclusion that the Court can only exercise original habeas jurisdiction where there has been an inferior federal proceeding or (2) that inferior federal courts are constitutionally required. Either way, Boumediene clarifies the paradox created by Tarble's Case (which held that state courts could not grant habeas relief against federal custodians). After Boumediene, although state habeas jurisdiction over federal officers is constitutionally prohibited, federal habeas jurisdiction over federal officers is constitutionally required. SUPREME COURT'S ABILITY TO HEAR ORIGINAL HABEAS PETITIONS. Ex Parte Bollman held that the Supreme Court could entertain original petitions for habeas corpus to test the legality of a commitment ordered by a lower federal court---on the theory that this was in essence an appeal of the lower court's conviction. It also indicated that the Supreme Court lacked authority to entertain original habeas petitions where no prior POWER OF FEDERAL COURTS TO ENTERTAIN HABEAS PETITIONS FROM STATE PRISONERS. The First Judiciary Act did not provide federal courts with jurisdiction to issue habeas relief to State prisoners. The Court in Ex Parte Dorr held that the failure of the First Judiciary Act to provide such jurisdiction meant that federal courts had no such jurisdiction. Cf. Brown v. Allen, indicating that Congress could have left the enforcement of federal constitutional rights governing the administration of criminal justice in State courts exclusively to the States. Cf. Felker (assuming but not deciding that the Suspension Clause protects the use of habeas as a form of post-conviction relief, but finding no violation of the Suspension Clause from the AEDPA's prohibition on filing successive claims. Congress first expanded the right to encompass generally persons in state custody during Reconstruction. The 1867 Act authorized federal courts "to grant writs of habeas corpus in all cases where any person may be restrained of his or her liberty in violation of the constitution, or any treaty or law of the United States." Before and at the time of founding, a prisoner held pursuant to a criminal conviction could challenge, in a habeas petition, only the jurisdiction of the court that rendered the judgment of conviction. Scholars dispute whether the Reconstruction Congress intended to broaden the writ to reach not merely jurisdictional defects but violations of federal law more generally. In 1948, Congress modified the statute to require exhaustion of state remedies prior to seeking the federal writ. It also created a separate procedure for federal prisoners---Section 2255, which is similar in substance but different in form from habeas. In 1996, the AEDPA modified the statute to provide that habeas relief would not be available unless the state court determination "involved an unreasonable application of clearly established" Supreme Court precedent. The Act also established a statute of limitations for both state and federal court prisoners, and narrows the power of federal habeas courts to conduct evidentiary hearings and to entertain multiple petitions from the same petitioner. ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL. There is no constitutional right to counsel in post-conviction proceedings (Coleman v. Thompson). Coleman left undecided whether there might be a Sixth Amendment
right to assistance of counsel in habeas proceedings where the claim is ineffective assistance during trial, sentencing, or direct appeal, and that claim could not have been raised earlier, but lower courts have not found such a right.
???????? Section 2254 Persons in state custody must comply with a 1year statute of limitations for filing their habeas petition. The statute of limitations will be tolled if the person is seeking collateral review in state court. The statute generally runs from "the date on which the judgment became final by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such review." A later date may apply if the application asserts a new Constitutional right that the Court has made retroactive, if the state has created an unconstitutional impediment to federal habeas review, or if a new factual predicate of the claim is discovered that could have been discovered previously through the exercise of due diligence.
???????? Section 2254 Grounds for Entertaining Writ. Subsection A provides that a federal court shall entertain a habeas appeal from an individual in custody (including probation or parole) pursuant to a state court judgment only on the ground that he is in custody in violation of federal law. 1 Claims Adjudicated on the Merits in State Court. Subsection D provides that no relief shall be granted with respect to a claim that was adjudicated on the merits unless the state court adjudication (1) was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Supreme Court precedent or (2) involved "unreasonable determination of facts" in light of the available evidence. In determining whether a state court decision involved an "unreasonable application of" federal law, a federal habeas court is not allowed to consider evidence obtained in a federal evidentiary hearing under Subsection 4 (Cullen v. Pinholster). Incompetency of Counsel in Post-Conviction Proceeding. Subsection I provides that the ineffectiveness or incompetency of counsel during prior state or federal post-conviction proceeding shall not be grounds for habeas relief. Exhaustion. Subsection B requires an applicant to exhaust state court remedies unless there are no remedies available or "circumstances exist that render such process ineffective to protect the rights" of the applicant. Meaning of Exhaustion. Subsection C provides that there is no exhaustion if the applicant has the right under the law of the State to raise, by any available procedure, the question presented. Waiver of Exhaustion Requirement. Subsection B provides that a state will not be deemed to have waived the exhaustion requirement unless it does so expressly through counsel. A state cannot be estopped from asserting waiver. Court Can Dispose on Merits. Subsection B provides that a federal court can dispose of a habeas application on the merits without inquiring into exhaustion. State Findings of Fact. Subsection E(1) provides that state factfinding shall be presumed to be correct, unless the applicant demonstrates by "clear and convincing evidence" that this presumption should not apply. In LeValle, the Court held that such a presumption applies to implicit findings of fact, for example, where a state court decides that a defendant's confession was voluntary without explicitly finding that the petitioner's testimony to the contrary was not credible. Evidentiary Hearing. Subsection E provides, if an applicant "failed to develop" the factual basis for a claim in state court,2 1
Federal habeas review does not extend to errors of state law (Estelle). An error of non-constitutional federal law must constitute a "fundamental defect" to be cognizable in federal habeas review (Reed v. Farley).
2 The defendant's non-development of the facts in state court does not render Subsection E applicable
a federal habeas court shall not hold an evidentiary hearing unless (1) the claim relies on (a) a new rule of constitutional law made applicable on collateral review or (b) a factual predicate that could not have been previously discovered through the exercise of due diligence, and (2) the facts underlying the claim would be sufficient to establish by clear and convincing evidence that but for constitutional error, no reasonable factfinder would have found the applicant guilty of the underlying offense. Ineffective Assistance of Counsel on Collateral Review. Subsection I provides that the ineffectiveness of counsel during collateral post-conviction review shall not be a basis for habeas relief.
???????? Relitigation of Federal Constitutional Issues In general, a state prisoner can relitigate the merits of any federal constitutional issue decided against him by a state court (Brown v. Allen). The only exception to Brown v. Allen is for exclusionary rule claims, which cannot be relitigated in federal habeas proceedings if originally decided against the prisoner (Stone v. Powell). The rationale for Stone was that exclusionary rule claims do not relate to the reliability of the conviction, although the Court has subsequently limited even this rationale, holding that challenges to the racial composition of a grand jury could be relitigated in a habeas proceeding, even though there was a subsequent determination of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt by a petit jury (Rose). The Court has also held that Miranda claims can be relitigated, because they bear on the reliability of the conviction (Withrow).
IMPACT OF BROWN v. ALLEN. Many observers believe that without the broad scope of habeas review authorized by Brown v. Allen, the Supreme Court could not have effectively supervised the state courts' compliance with its decisions recognizing new and controversial constitutional rights governing state criminal process. Compare Michigan v. Long, which many observers see as designed to expand the Court's ability to review state court decisions protecting individual liberties so that these liberties could be restricted. POLICY. Professor Bator argued that habeas jurisdiction should be limited to determining whether the state provided a fair process for resolving constitutional claims. Judge Friendly argued that a petitioner who received a fair hearing in state court should not be able collaterally to attack a criminal conviction without making "a colorable showing that an error---whether constitutional or not---may be producing the continued punishment or an innocent person. Justice Powell also was concerned primarily with addressing "unjust incarcerations," but favored a claim-by-claim approach, rather than the case-by-case approach advocated by Judge Friendly.
unless such failure is attributable to "lack of diligence or some greater fault" on the part of the defendant or his counsel (Michael Williams).
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