Federal Sentencing Reporter
Non-Capital Habeas Cases after Appellate Review: An Empirical Analysis
Nancy J. King

Abstract

In 2007, researchers from the National Center for State Courts and Vanderbilt University Law School reported the findings from a study of litigation in 2384 randomly selected, non-capital habeas cases, approximately 6.5% of the non-capital habeas cases commenced in federal district courts in 2003 and 2004 by state prisoners. In this article, I update that report, including the cases that were pending when the 2007 report was prepared, following the study cases into the federal courts of appeals, and back into the state courts. Even after appellate review of denials and dismissals, the percentage of non-capital petitioners receiving federal habeas relief remains less than the 1% rate reported prior to AEDPA. Descriptive findings include appeals and requests to file successive petitions by circuit, and rulings on certificates of appealability by circuit. Detailed information regarding each case receiving relief in federal court is also included.

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