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1998

Vanderbilt University Law School

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Section 2254(D) Of The New Habeas Statute: An (Opinionated) User's Manual, Evan T. Lee Jan 1998

Section 2254(D) Of The New Habeas Statute: An (Opinionated) User's Manual, Evan T. Lee

Vanderbilt Law Review

The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 made wholesale changes to the federal habeas corpus statute. In particular, the statute contains a new section 2254(d), which controls the standards that federal habeas courts must employ when reviewing state convictions. This new provision governing the standards of review applies generally to petitions filed after April 24, 1996, the effective date of the Act. The provision's text, however, is critically ambiguous in several respects. Because most of the federal circuit courts of appeal have not yet settled even basic interpretive questions about section 2254(d), federal district courts ...