Kathleen Willcox Williams

Kathleen Willcox Williams

Attorney at Law

United States Supreme Court Excuses Time Deadlines for Claim of Actual Innocence

A missed deadline on a federal petition for habeas corpus is no longer a complete barrier in a case with a good, convincing showing of an actual innocence ground, the United States Supreme Court ruled recently.  Justice Scalia dissented, describing this decision as creating "a shiny new exception to a statute unloved in the best circles.”


What does this mean to your case?  Most universally, this decision tells us that the US Supreme Court is still interested in the big picture of the American justice system - limiting punishment to people who actually commit crime, not those who do not - by making sure opportunities are given to challenge convictions, even where procedural rules would otherwise prohibit that challenge. 


More information is available in this article by the American Bar Association.

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