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March 11, 2006

More on capital habeas reform in Patriot Act

In this post, I noted an important article from the Daily Journal discussing a provision of the new Patriot Act aimed at expediting capital habeas corpus petitions in federal court.  Additional coverage of this issue is available from DPIC here and also from this article from Friday's Austin American-Statesman.  Here is the start of that article:

For the 406 inmates on Texas' death row, the Patriot Act's wiretapping provision isn't the most worrisome thing in the bill. It's a change to federal habeas corpus procedure that could make it easier for Texas to execute them. 

Under the new Patriot Act that President Bush signed into law Thursday, all states can now ask the U.S. attorney general to decide whether they qualify for a "fast-track" review.  Getting fast track is based on whether a state's court-appointed defense attorneys meet a minimum competency standard.  If a state qualifies, its prisoners have less time to file federal habeas petitions, and the federal judges reviewing state prisoner appeals are more limited in what they can consider.

March 11, 2006 at 05:22 AM | Permalink


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Tracked on Mar 11, 2006 5:31:01 AM


I wish someone would provide the actual text of this provision.

Posted by: law | Mar 11, 2006 7:30:42 AM

The text is available here:


Posted by: keith | Mar 11, 2006 3:59:18 PM

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