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Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act

From dKosopedia

This Summary explains the basic outlines of the law. Most importantly, it dramatically narrows the rights of all prisoners to obtain federal Habeas Corpus relief. Other kinds of relief in federal courts for prisoners is governed by the Prison Litigation Reform Act. From the summary (about third of a page of a voluminous report, footnotes omitted):

"The Act substantially amends federal habeas corpus law as it applies to both state and federal prisoners whether on death row or imprisoned for a term of years. Federal habeas corpus is the statutory procedure, 28 U.S.C. 2241 et seq., under which state and federal prisoners may petition the federal courts to review their convictions and sentences to determine whether the prisoners are being held contrary to the laws or Constitution of the United States.

"At common law, the writ we know as habeas corpus was a judicial procedure whereby prisoners, held without trial, without being admitted to bail, or confined by order of a court without subject matter jurisdiction, might secure their release. The writ was not available to those convicted by courts with jurisdiction.

"And so it began in this country, but over time it became a common method of securing federal judicial review of a state criminal conviction. In the late 60's the courts began to define the availability of federal habeas corpus more narrowly. . . .

"Highlights of the Act's habeas amendments include: a bar on federal habeas reconsideration of legal and factual issues ruled upon by state courts in most instances; creation of a general 1 year statute of limitations within which habeas petitions must be filed after the completion of direct appeal; creation of a 6 month statute of limitation in death penalty cases; encouragement for states to appoint counsel for indigent state death row inmates during state habeas or unitary appellate proceedings; and a requirement of appellate court approval for repetitious habeas petitions."


Johnson v. United States (2005).

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This page was last modified 17:06, 16 July 2006 by Chad Lupkes. Based on work by Andrew Oh-Willeke. Content is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

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