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 […]