The Supreme Court significantly restricted the conditions under which federal courts were allowed to accept second habeas corpus petitions by state prisoners sentenced to death.
During the 1960’s the Court had expanded the scope of federal habeas corpus reviews of state criminal convictions. One consequence was that death row inmates were able to file several habeas corpus petitions, each raising a different constitutional claim. After William H. Rehnquist became chief justice, however, the Court grew intolerant of long procedural delays in such cases. Following the Court’s rejection of Warren McCleskey’s first challenge to his death sentence, his lawyers filed a second habeas corpus petition, alleging that prosecutors at his trial had used incriminating statements that were made without assistance of counsel.
By a 6-3 vote, the Court rejected the claim. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy,
In the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, Congress made it even more difficult for defendants to file second habeas corpus petitions. The Court upheld the constitutionality of the statute in Felker v. Turpin
Bunting v. Oregon
Due process, procedural