Thank You Sir, May I Have Another: Attacking Maryland State Criminal Convictions Collaterally in State and Federal Court: Part Two

Michael Lawlor, Esq.
Fred Warren Bennett, Esq.
Nathans & Biddle, LLP
120 East Baltimore Street
Suite 1800
Baltimore, Maryland 21202
410.783.0272
410.783.0518 (Facsimile)

INTRODUCTION

In the July/August edition of the MCDAA newsletter, we addressed the collateral attack of State criminal convictions in State court, via the Post-Conviction Procedure Act. In addition to that avenue of collateral attack, attorneys practicing in the post-conviction arena should always be aware of the potential for filing, following the conclusion of post-conviction proceedings in State court, a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, in federal court. Through this action, "a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court only on the ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States," 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (a), may collaterally attack his State conviction in federal court. This Section of the article seeks to apprise practitioners of several important areas of federal habeas law including the recently amended statute of limitations, the doctrines of exhaustion and procedural default, and appellate review of federal habeas petitions.

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