FedSoc Blog

New SCOTUScast: McQuiggin v. Perkins and Trevino v. Thaler


by SCOTUScaster
Posted April 04, 2013, 5:14 PM

On February 25,  the Supreme Court heard the oral argument in McQuiggin v. Perkins and Trevino v. Thaler.  Both cases involve procedural issues relating to habeas proceedings.

The question in McQuiggin is whether, under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, there is an actual-innocence exception to the requirement that a petitioner show an extraordinary circumstance that “prevented timely filing” of a habeas petition, and if so, whether there is an additional actual-innocence exception to the requirement that a petitioner demonstrate that “he has been pursuing his rights diligently.”

The question in Trevino involves the Court’s 2012 decision Martinez v. Ryan, which holds that ineffective assistance of counsel in state post-conviction proceedings--with regard to claims that could not be raised on direct appeal--excuses the defendant’s failure to raise such claims in the state post-conviction proceedings, and therefore allows him to raise them for the first time in a subsequent federal habeas proceeding.  The question in Trevino is whether Martinez applies when it is unclear under state law whether the claims in question could have been raised on direct appeal.

To discuss the cases, we have Ward Campbell, the Supervising Deputy Attorney General at the California Department of Justice.

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