Description: H.Amdt. 508 — 103rd Congress (1993-1994)All Information (Except Text)

Amendment sought to change the habeas corpus provisions contained in the bill and would have required prisoners under sentence of death to file any habeas corpus petitions within one year after their State appeals had been exhausted, and limit the circumstances under which subsequent habeas corpus petitions could be filed.

Purpose:

An amendment to change the bill's provisions on habeas corpus reform. The amendment continues to require prisoners under sentence of death to file any habeas corpus petitions within one year after their state appeals have been exhausted, and to limit the circumstances under which subsequent habeas corpus petitions can be filed. In addition, however, the amendment narrows the instances in which "new rules" of law would retroactively be applied in habeas corpus appeals by the prisoner. Specifically, the amendment deletes provisions of the bill that would allow for the retroactive application of a "new rule" ordered by a court in certain instances- i.e., when the rule holds that the death penalty for a particular offense is unconstitutional after the defendant has been sentenced, or when the rule requires new legal procedures. The amendment narrows further than the bill the instances in which a second habeas corpus appeal would be heard. Under the amendment, a second petition could be heard only if the new claim, if proven, would undermine the court's confidence in either the prisoner's guilt, or the prisoner's legal eligibility for the death sentence. Finally, the amendment delays for one year the bill's requirement that all states that impose the death penalty provide qualified counsel to indigents in capital cases--at trial, on appea., on state collateral review, and on petitions for discretionary review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

House Amendment Code:

(A010)

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