The U. S. Supreme Court has engineered significant changes in habeas corpus procedures. Any change in law or public policy has consequences for the human beings whose lives come into contact with the changed law or policy. Critics have accused the Rehnquist Court of "dismantling access to federal habeas corpus review guaranteed by statute since 1867." As a result, concerns have emerged regarding the consequences for potential petitioners whose claims can no longer be reviewed by federal judges. While the fate of death row inmates is the most important consequence of habeas corpus reform, anecdotal reports on these controversial cases provide an incomplete picture of the impact of habeas reform. Judicial initiatives to reform habeas corpus affect people other than petitioners. Although the impact on officials within the justice system may appear less visible and compelling than the fate of death row inmates, an examination of other actors affected by habeas corpus reform sheds light on unrecognized consequences of the Rehnquist Court's decisions. This article examines the perspective of assistant state attorneys general, important actors in the habeas corpus process, toward the Supreme Court's habeas corpus reform.
Christopher E. Smith,
Judicial Reform of Habeas Corpus: The Advocates' Lament,
44 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol44/iss1/5