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University of Michigan Law School

Civil Rights and Discrimination

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

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Habeas Corpus Review Of State Trial Court Failure To Give Lesser Included Offense Instructions, Michael H. Hoffheimer Apr 1983

Habeas Corpus Review Of State Trial Court Failure To Give Lesser Included Offense Instructions, Michael H. Hoffheimer

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Note advocates that federal courts review state criminal convictions in habeas corpus proceedings when lesser included offense instructions are available under state law but were not given. Part I demonstrates that granting such review conforms to the modern jurisdictional scope of federal collateral review because failure to give the instructions undermines the fact-finding function of juries and is therefore unconstitutional. Part II analyzes the proper standard of review and determines that the federal interest in protecting the reliability of the fact-finding process should prevail over any conflicting state interest in refusing to give lesser included offense instructions. Part II ...