Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hughes News: Habeas New Evidence 01

Tuesday's work on the habeas is now available at Skeptical Juror Docs. New material begins on page 18.

The Big Shock as of last night (at around 3 AM) is that I learned from Ward Larkin (also up late) that the petition is limited to 50 pages, not counting some of the front material. (Actually he informed me that the new rules limited me to 15,000 words, and I popped a cork. This morning he checked with the rules attorney and found that the new rules do not go into effect until 1 December.)

While 50 pages might seem sufficient to many or most of you, I assure you it is giving me fits. I've had to eliminate many strong claims regarding unsupported scientific evidence, false testimony uncorrected by the DA, and failure to allow effective confrontation of witnesses. I'll now focus on Brady claims (withholding evidence) and ineffective counsel issues. Even then, I will have to limit the number of specific claims in each class.

Also, I am eliminating some of the new evidence claims. There is simply insufficient room to present so many claims properly. I'd rather win a few critical ones than lose all of them.

The fifty page limit is probably adequate for many cases, but it is woefully inadequate for a case as complex as Hughes'. The problem is seriously aggravated by the requirement that I use a large font and double line spacing.

But 50 pages it is. For those of you now monitoring how I'm doing against the page count, I don't have to count the first six as written. So I've used 31 of the 50 available. That's not going to cut it. I'm nowhere near 60% done with what I have to address. Tomorrow, I'll have to gut what I worked so long on today.

I'll update again tomorrow. I didn't complete the actual innocence claims today. Hopefully tomorrow.

Always hopefully tomorrow.