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 […]

Prosecutor`s Exhortation for Jury to Send a Message with Guilty Verdict Rendered Sexual Assault Conviction Unconstitutional

Prosecutor`s Exhortation to `Send a Message` with Guilty Verdict Rendered Sexual Assault Conviction Unconstitutional A prosecutor in West Virginia who urged the jury to “send a message to the community” with a guilty verdict in a sexual assault case crossed the line and rendered the conviction unconstitutional, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth […]

WHEN IS A STATE PROCEDURAL RULE INADEQUATE TO AVOID PROCEDURAL DEFAULT ON FEDERAL HABEAS REVIEW?

State prisoners must “exhaust” all their post-conviction remedies in state court before bringing a claim in federal court on habeas corpus review. If they don’t follow the state’s procedural rules, they risk having their claim “procedurally-defaulted” (or procedurally-barred) in federal court and their habeas petition dismissed. The only way around this is to show “cause […]