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Deference and Doubt: The Interaction of AEDPA §§ 2254(d)(2) & (e)(1)

58 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2008  

Justin F. Marceau

University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Date Written: November 4, 2008


The deference owed to state findings of fact under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), 28 U.S.C. § 2254, is hopelessly unclear. This Article identifies the two provisions addressing questions of factual deference, § 2254(d)(2) and (e)(1), and reviews their interaction, ultimately concluding that the treatment of (e)(1) as a superficial gloss on (d)(2) is is guided and undermines the purpose of collateral review of state convictions by federal courts. After addressing both the scope of review and standard of review problems, the Article concludes that the text, structure, and purpose of these provisions require a conclusion that only those state findings of fact that comport with minimum standards of procedural regularity should be afforded deference. Additionally, extrinsic evidence must be available for review by a federal court to permit a determination of whether a state's findings of fact may be rebutted.

Suggested Citation

Marceau, Justin F., Deference and Doubt: The Interaction of AEDPA §§ 2254(d)(2) & (e)(1) (November 4, 2008). Tulane Law Review, Vol. 82, No. 385, 2008; U Denver Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08-23. Available at SSRN:

Justin Marceau (Contact Author)

University of Denver Sturm College of Law ( email )

2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208
United States

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