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Habeas for the Twenty-First CenturyUses, Abuses, and the Future of the Great Writ$
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Nancy J. King and Joseph L. Hoffmann

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226436975

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226436968.001.0001

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: The Future of Capital Habeas

: The Future of Capital Habeas

Chapter:
(p.135) Chapter Eight: The Future of Capital Habeas
Source:
Habeas for the Twenty-First Century
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226436968.003.0008

This chapter describes what is believed to be the most appropriate role for habeas in the context of capital litigation. The future of habeas corpus in capital cases is addressed. The Supreme Court's efforts had only limited success; petitions in capital cases continued to be granted at a relatively high rate. The habeas played a greater role in the death penalty. Habeas can ensure that arbitrary governmental actions do not trample on the fundamental rights and liberties of individuals. It is noted that there is a special need for habeas review in capital cases which is not present in noncapital cases. It would seem to make sense to permit federal judges to avoid the complicated analyses of procedural default and filing deadlines and simply deny claims after consideration on the merits, as they are able to do with claims that have yet to be exhausted in state court.

Keywords:   habeas corpus, capital litigation, Supreme Court, capital cases, death penalty, federal judges, habeas review

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