Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hughes News: Habeas Brady

The latest version of the draft habeas is available here. The most noticeable change is that I have completed the section on Brady violations. A Brady violation is where the prosecution withholds exculpatory evidence from the defense. That has long been deemed, ever since Brady v. Maryland (1963) to constitute a constitutional violation of a defendant's right to due process. There were several egregious Brady violations in Preston's case. They can now be argued even though they might otherwised be barred because Preston is claiming his actual innocence as part of a Schlup-type habeas claim.

The Brady discussion begins at page 37.

In addition to the Brady section, I have added a summary of claims at the beginning of the petition, and I have more clearly identified the claims of actual innocence. Those changes were prompted by feedback from someone with trained eyes on the petition.

I have also improved the (by both additions and deletions) the Statement of Facts and the claims of actual innocence.

The most recent draft has just the very beginning of the ineffective assistance of counsel claim. I plan on completing that section today, or very early tomorrow morning. I will still need to complete the closing arguments and the appendices.

I'm limited to 50 pages. That count does not include the first six pages of standardized material, and it does not include the appendices.  By continually working and reworking the document, I'm in a position where I can soon finish it within the page limit.

I continue to welcome comments and criticisms, even of grammar, spelling, and typos. The comments so far, both in this blog and via email, has been of substantial value.

Substantial.

I'll update again once I have completed the section on ineffective counsel.

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