Lynn Adelman


I thank the editors of the Maine Law Review for the opportunity to participate in a discussion about the present state of post-conviction review of criminal convictions. This discussion is important and timely both because the quality of the procedures by which state prisoners can obtain post-conviction review varies greatly from state to state and because state prisoners who seek federal court review of their constitutional claims by petitioning for a writ of habeas corpus face many obstacles. As a federal district judge, my experience is primarily with the later problem. Thus, in this article, I will offer a few comments about federal habeas corpus as it applies to prisoners who are in state custody as the result of a enlightened states that does not have a death penalty, my experience with habeas corpus is limited to non-capital cases, and, for that reason, I will focus primarily on such cases.

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