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Series

Capital punishment

Faculty Scholarship

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Publication Year

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in Law

Original Habeas Redux, Lee B. Kovarsky Jan 2011

Original Habeas Redux, Lee B. Kovarsky

Faculty Scholarship

This article explores what is perhaps the Supreme Court’s most exotic appellate power— its authority to issue (inaptly-named) “original” writs of habeas corpus. Although I have been working on Original Habeas Redux for some time, the Troy Davis case has recently thrust this topic into the national spotlight. In Davis (2009), the Supreme Court exercised, for the first time in over forty years, its power to transfer an original habeas petition to a district court for merits adjudication. Having collected and tabulated two decades of new data, I argue that Davis is not a blip in an otherwise constant ...


Death Ineligibility And Habeas Corpus, Lee B. Kovarsky Jan 2010

Death Ineligibility And Habeas Corpus, Lee B. Kovarsky

Faculty Scholarship

I examine the interaction between what I call 'death ineligibility' challenges and the habeas writ. A death ineligibility claim alleges that a criminally-confined capital prisoner belongs to a category of offenders for which the Eighth Amendment forbids execution. By contrast, a 'crime innocence' claim alleges that, colloquially speaking, a capital prisoner 'wasn’t there, and didn’t do it.' In the last eight years, the Supreme Court has identified several new ineligibility categories, including mentally retarded offenders. Configured primarily to address crime innocence and procedural challenges, however, modern habeas law is poorly equipped to accommodate ineligibility claims. Death Ineligibility traces ...