Federal Habeas Court Finds Both Trial and Post-Conviction Counsel Ineffective, Vacates Death Sentence

Sammie Stokes confessed to capital murder so his best chance of avoiding the death penalty was a strong presentation of mitigating evidence to sway the jury at sentencing. But Stokes` lawyers failed to pursue any meaningful mitigation, and the U.S. Court of Appeals held on August 19, 2021, that this not only amounted to ineffective assistance of counsel (IAC), but also found that Stokes` state … Continue reading Federal Habeas Court Finds Both Trial and Post-Conviction Counsel Ineffective, Vacates Death Sentence

Federal Habeas Corpus: Post-Filing Procedures in Seeking Habeas Relief

After you`ve filed your petition for habeas relief in federal court, you may decide to take further actions, such as filing a motion to “stay” your proceedings, to appoint counsel, or to release you on bond pending the outcome of your habeas case. Much of the authority for these motions comes from the court`s inherent authority to control its own docket, and not so much … Continue reading Federal Habeas Corpus: Post-Filing Procedures in Seeking Habeas Relief

Federal Habeas Relief for Racist Juror Strikes Requires Fact-Heavy Analysis

In a case eerily similar to one the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) recently overturned because of a prosecutor`s racially-motivated disqualification of black jurors, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed the denial of habeas corpus on September 10, 2021, and remanded for the federal district court to take another look at the case and consider whether the juror strikes … Continue reading Federal Habeas Relief for Racist Juror Strikes Requires Fact-Heavy Analysis

Federal Court Finds Evidence Withheld by Prosecutor Opens Door for Successive Habeas Petition

After the discovery that the prosecution withheld key pieces of evidence that may have exonerated a man convicted and sentenced to death, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held on Sept. 2, 2021, that this was enough to reopen the door for federal habeas corpus, despite the strict bar on second or successive petitions. Kareem Jackson was convicted of aggravated murder, robbery, … Continue reading Federal Court Finds Evidence Withheld by Prosecutor Opens Door for Successive Habeas Petition

Federal Court Says Four-Year Delay for State Appeal Excused Federal Habeas Exhaustion Requirement

Seventh Circuit Holds Four-Year Delay for State Appeal Excused Habeas Exhaustion Requirement Waiting more than four years for a Wisconsin State court to hear a defendant`s appeal was “ineffective to protect the rights secured by the United States Constitution,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held on August 18, 2021, allowing a federal habeas corpus petition to proceed without exhausting state-court remedies. … Continue reading Federal Court Says Four-Year Delay for State Appeal Excused Federal Habeas Exhaustion Requirement

Federal Courts Have Authority to Impose Habeas Remedies, Despite Different Remedies Available to State Courts

What kind of remedy is proper in granting federal habeas corpus relief to a state prisoner is left up to the federal court, and is not dependent on what the remedies available to the state courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held on Sept. 3, 2021. After the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan granted habeas corpus relief … Continue reading Federal Courts Have Authority to Impose Habeas Remedies, Despite Different Remedies Available to State Courts

Supreme Court Justice Exposes Why Sex Offender Residency Restrictions Don`t Work and Increase Chances of Reoffending

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor filed a statement Feb. 22, 2022, in a case where a New York prisoner had to stay in prison two years past his release date because he couldn`t find a place to live that met the state`s residency restrictions for sex offenders. Angel Ortiz, a level-three sex offender, had to find a place to live before his release from … Continue reading Supreme Court Justice Exposes Why Sex Offender Residency Restrictions Don`t Work and Increase Chances of Reoffending

Brother of Little Rock Mayor Required to Register as Sex Offender, After Stealing Car with Kids in it

The brother of Little Rock, Arkansas, mayor Frank Scott Jr. was ordered by the Arkansas Supreme Court to register as a sex offender for stealing a car that had two kids in it, even though there was no sexual motive and no harm done to the kids. Darrell Lamont Scott went on a four-hour crime spree in July 2020. Authorities said he vandalized the property … Continue reading Brother of Little Rock Mayor Required to Register as Sex Offender, After Stealing Car with Kids in it

Wisconsin Court Delays Criminal Appeal to Stop Federal Lawsuit Over Police Misconduct

A Wisconsin court has delayed a defendant`s criminal appeal for over four years in a seeming attempt to prevent his federal lawsuit to move forward against the cops for use of excessive force during the search of his house, and for falsifying court documents relating to that search. The federal judge said his lawsuit had merit, but that it had to “halt” the case because … Continue reading Wisconsin Court Delays Criminal Appeal to Stop Federal Lawsuit Over Police Misconduct

Federal Court Affirms Habeas Relief in Louisiana Murder Case

Fifth Circuit Affirms Habeas Relief Based on Counsel`s Failure to Interview Witness in Murder Case Finding that defense counsel failed to interview the state`s key witness in a Louisiana murder case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the grant of habeas corpus relief, ordering a new trial, despite the state courts denying relief without any reasoned opinion. George Hughes has been … Continue reading Federal Court Affirms Habeas Relief in Louisiana Murder Case