The New State Post-Conviction
Posted: 30 May 2013 Last revised: 2 Oct 2017
Date Written: 2013
This article examines two October Term 2011 Supreme Court cases – Maples versus Thomas and Martinez versus Ryan – which have a significant impact on the provision of counsel in state post-conviction proceedings. In Maples and Martinez, the Court expanded the circumstances in which deficient performance by state post-conviction counsel can overcome procedural default, to permit the prisoner to litigate defaulted claims on the merits in Federal Habeas. The author argues that, given the increased significance of state post-conviction under the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), Maples and Martinez could have a salutary effect on the development of the federal constitutional criminal procedure litigated in those proceedings. Furthermore, because these cases coincide with other important developments that make state post-conviction more important, they could have critical synergistic effects. Maples and Martinez create incentive for states to provide effective counsel in state post-conviction at a moment when these proceeding are being forced to assume a new role in the development of federal constitutional criminal procedure. The confluence of these events could produce a new era in state post-conviction.
Keywords: state post-conviction, Federal Habeas Corpus, Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, AEDPA, Maples, Martinez, criminal procedure
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