Page 233 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
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 Section 9: Capital Representation
9.1 Background—Capital Trials, Direct Appeals, § 2254, § 2255, and Habeas
One of the particular areas of defense practice that this Committee examined involves providing representation to those facing capital punishment. Capital repre- sentation under the CJA occurs in two main contexts. 902
First, there are the “direct death”903 cases that originate from federal grand jury indictments and are governed by the Federal Death Penalty Act.904 Convictions and sentences of death in these cases are appealed in the same manner as ordinary felonies, first to the Circuit Courts of Appeal and then by writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court. Practitioners often refer to these as “direct appeals.”
Second are cases involving collateral review of convictions and death sen- tences that have become final after the conclusion of the direct appeal process. These are further divided between collateral review of federal “direct death” sen- tences under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 and review of state death sentences under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Section 2254 cases are by far the most numerous type of capital represen- tation and, therefore, provide the context in which the inadequacies of the defense system are most often evident. A significant portion of the following discussion draws examples from § 2254 litigation. But while litigation in each of these contexts
902 Forachartrepresentingtheusualprogressionofacapitalcase,pleaseseeAppendixH.
903 SeegenerallyPublicHearing—Birmingham,Ala.,Panel3,Writ.Test.(discussingtheFederalDeath Penalty Act and referencing common shorthand terms).
904 18U.S.C.§§3591–3599.
No recommendation presented herein represents
the policy of the Judicial Conference of the United 2 0 1 7 R E P O R T O F T H E A D H O C C O M M I T T E E T O R E V I E W T H E C R I M I N A L J U S T I C E A C T 189
 States unless approved by the Conference itself.

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