Certificate Of Appealability Standard Not The Same As Merits Determination, Supreme Court Holds

Federal Habeas,ineffective assistance ,certificate of appealability

A certificate of appealability is required to appeal the denial of federal habeas relief. According to federal statute, a certificate of appealability may only be granted “if the applicant has made a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right.” 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). In some cases, prisoners can demonstrate probable success on the…

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Self Representation Erroneously Denied By State Court

Self Representation, faretta, Brian Foster, self-representation,state trial

Brian Foster unequivocally asked to represent himself at his state trial. The state trial court conducted a Faretta hearing to decide if it would allow Foster for self-representation. In Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806 (1975), the Supreme Court recognized the right of self-representation.The state district judge refused Foster’s request to represent himself, finding that…

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Ineffective Assistance Of Post Conviction Counsel May Permit New Challenge To Conviction Or Sentence

federal, martinez trevino , ineffective assistance, post conviction

In many states and at the federal level, claims of trial, sentencing, and appellate ineffectiveness must be raised through post-conviction proceedings. But what happens if your post-conviction lawyer fails to raise a claim of ineffective assistance that could have won? Or, what if you did not have a lawyer when you filed your post-conviction motion,…

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Attorney Abandonment Claim Remanded For A Hearing

attorney abandonment, habeas

Mark Christeson filed a motion to re-open his habeas proceedings under Rule 60(b) arguing that his attorney’s failure to timely submit his 28 U.S.C. § 2254 petition (used by state prisoners but similar to a 2255) constituted attorney abandonment. The abandonment issue was key to resolving whether “extraordinary circumstances” existed to warrant granting Rule 60…

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Burrage Applies Retroactively To Cases On Collateral Review

Collateral Review, burrage , Fifth Circuit. supreme court

In Burrage v. United States, 134 S. Ct. 881 (2014), the Supreme Court held that “at least where use of the drug distributed by the defendant is not an independently sufficient cause of the victim’s death or serious bodily injury, a defendant cannot be liable under the penalty enhancement provision of 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(C)…

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