Non-Capital Habeas Cases after Appellate Review: An Empirical Analysis

13 Pages Posted: 26 Jan 2012 Last revised: 11 Jul 2014

See all articles by Nancy J. King

Nancy J. King

Vanderbilt University - Law School

Date Written: January 25, 2012


In 2007, researchers from the National Center for State Courts and Vanderbilt University Law School reported the findings from a study of litigation in 2384 randomly selected, non-capital habeas cases, approximately 6.5% of the non-capital habeas cases commenced in federal district courts in 2003 and 2004 by state prisoners. In this article, I update that report, including the cases that were pending when the 2007 report was prepared, and following the study cases into the federal courts of appeals, and back into the state courts. Even after appellate review of denials and dismissals, the percentage of non-capital petitioners receiving federal habeas relief remains less than the 1% rate reported prior to AEDPA. Descriptive findings include appeals and requests to file successive petitions by circuit, and rulings on certificates of appealability by circuit. Detailed information regarding each case receiving relief in federal court is also included.

Keywords: Habeas, 2254, Appellate Review, Empirical Analysis

Suggested Citation

King, Nancy J., Non-Capital Habeas Cases after Appellate Review: An Empirical Analysis (January 25, 2012). Federal Sentencing Reporter, Forthcoming, Vanderbilt Public Law Research Paper No. 12-3, Available at SSRN:

Nancy J. King (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States
(615) 343-9836 (Phone)
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