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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1100692
 
 

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Catalyzing More Adequate Federal Habeas Review of Summation Misconduct: Persuasion Theory and the Sixth Amendment Right to an Unbiased Jury


Ryan Patrick Alford


University of Victoria Faculty of Law; Ave Maria School of Law


Oklahoma Law Review, Vol. 59, No. 3, Fall 2006

Abstract:     
This article argues that higher scrutiny of claims of argumentative misconduct in prosecutors' closing arguments is warranted in the context of federal habeas review of state criminal trials. The current standard against which these claims are reviewed is unduly convoluted and subjective. Furthermore, habeas review is essential where state courts lack institutional competence to address the misconduct at issue, as the article demonstrates. The proposal is to realign the test for unduly inflammatory summations with the test applied to prejudicial pretrial publicity, as persuasion theory demonstrates that these phenomena have similar effects.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 48

Keywords: forensic misconduct, inflammatory summations, closing arguments, sixth amendment, jury trial, persuasion theory, criminal procedure, habeas corpus

JEL Classification: K14, K40, K41

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Date posted: March 7, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Alford, Ryan Patrick, Catalyzing More Adequate Federal Habeas Review of Summation Misconduct: Persuasion Theory and the Sixth Amendment Right to an Unbiased Jury. Oklahoma Law Review, Vol. 59, No. 3, Fall 2006. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1100692

Contact Information

Ryan Patrick Alford (Contact Author)
University of Victoria Faculty of Law ( email )
PO Box 2300, STN CSC
McGill at Ring Rds (Fraser Bldg)
Victoria, British Columbia V8W 3B1
Canada

Ave Maria School of Law ( email )
1025 Commons Circle
Naples, FL 34119
United States
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