Saturday, November 12, 2011

More information about the Habeas Appeal

I found this source for information on the habeas appeals in California.  It gives the process for non-death penalty habeas appeals, whereas the death penalty habeas appeals are filed in the CA Supreme Court.  The substance and structure of the habeas is the same for both death penalty and non-death penalty cases.

"Elements of a Habeas Petition" by Jonathan Grossman

The web page for State Senator Tom Harman, California's 35th District, provides information on SB1025 Habeas Corpus Reform, SCA27 Direct Appeal in Capital Cases, and SB1018 Single Drug Lethal Injection Procedure.

SB1025 proposes that habeas appeals in capital cases begin in the Superior Courts, as they do in non-capital cases.
Because habeas appeals involve extensive fact-finding and investigative duties that appellate courts are ill-equipped to handle, this proposal would both streamline the appellate process and ensure that habeas claims are efficiently and accurately resolved.
SCA27 allows the guaranteed direct appeals for capital cases to be heard by the Courts of Appeal, with review of the appellate opinion by the Supreme Court.
Chief Justice Ron George argues that the death penalty jeopardizes the Court's capacity to resolve other statewide legal issues and settle appellate conflicts, which is its primary obligation. 
California needs to do something to expedite this appeal process - not just for the victims, but for the wrongfully convicted.  Scott has been on death row now for over 6.5 years, and his Court record still has not been perfected.  It will probably be well into 2012 before his direct appeal brief is filed.  And then another couple of years before it is even considered by the CA Supreme Court.  

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