Thursday, March 01, 2012

A little habeas clarity

Practitioners who work on § 2254 claims are often frustrated by a paucity of bright-line rules to provide guidance, especially bright-line rules that are favorable to habeas petitioners. The Perkins opinion, out today, offers a rare bit of clarity, thanks to some excellent pro bono work by the good folks at Jones Day.

The issue: AEDPA’s statute of limitations provides a statutory exception for credible claims of actual innocence, but equitable tolling of the statute usually requires a showing of reasonable diligence. Does a habeas petitioner with a credible claim of actual innocence also have to show reasonable diligence in pursuing his or her claim?

The answer: no.

I would write more here, but for once no additional analysis, caveats, or disclaimers are necessary.*

*Ha ha, just kidding. This will raise all kinds of issues related to what exactly is a credible claim of actual innocence, and Mr. Perkins has a long way to go before he demonstrates that he has one. But for now, let’s all just enjoy this brief moment in the sun, ok?

1 comment:

Lulaine @ RD Legal Funding said...

Ever since President Lincoln suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War, when it was restored the court has always leaned to the person who rights are being violated rather than the state. During the civil war, there were many abuses and I believe the courts when it was restored reasoned that the rights of the individual have to be protected.