Recent Decisions

2022 Term Decisions of Interest to Capital Habeas Practitioners

Reed v. Goertz, 598 U.S. ___ (April 19, 2023) -  When a prisoner pursues state post-conviction DNA testing through the state-provided litigation process, the statute of limitations for a §1983 procedural due process claim begins to run when the state litigation ends, in this case when the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied Reed’s motion for rehearing, not when the trial court initially denied the request for DNA testing.

Cruz v. Arizona, 598 U.S. ___ (Feb. 22, 2023) - Reversing denial of post-conviction relief to Arizona death row inmate and remanding for further proceedings on Cruz's claim that his Eighth Amendment rights were violated by the trial court's refusal to allow that the jury be informed that a life sentence in Arizona meant without parole.  The Arizona Supreme Court’s holding that Lynch v. Arizona, 578 U. S. 613 (2016) (per curiam) was not a significant change in the law, which resulted in a procedural bar to consideration of the claim, rested on such a novel and unforeseeable interpretation of a state court procedural rule that the decision is not adequate to foreclose review of the federal claim