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Articles by Dale Chappell

Government Snitches Rake in Millions as Their Testimony Is the Leading Cause of Wrongful Convictions

by Jacob Barrett and Dale Chappell

The general public’s familiarity with the government’s use of informants in criminal proceedings is largely confined to movies and TV documentaries. Yet, every year, the government negotiates tens of thousands of deals “off the record,” which are subject to few restrictions and have little ...

Fifth Circuit: New, Retroactive Supreme Court Decision Allowing SOS Habeas Petition Not New Enough to Avoid Procedural-Default Bar

by Dale Chappell

In a decision that further narrows the federal habeas corpus remedy, a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that a claim under a new, retroactive U.S. Supreme Court ruling to allow a second or successive (“SOS”) habeas petition was not ...

SCOTUS Refuses to Extend Bivens Remedy to Either First Amendment Retaliation Claim or Fourth Amendment Excessive-Force Claim

by Dale Chappell

The Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) held that a federal court may not extend the remedy it created over 50 years ago in Bivens v. Six Unknown Fed. Narcotics Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), which authorized a lawsuit against federal officials based on alleged ...

Seventh Circuit: Federal Habeas Corpus – AEDPA Time Limit Opens Door for Savings Clause Relief

by Dale Chappell

Expanding the savings clause yet again, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that the one-year time limit for filing a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 rendered the remedy “inadequate or ineffective” to invoke the savings clause and vacated an illegal sentence.

At ...

USSC Report Highlights Problems with Sentencing in Child Porn Cases

Why don’t federal judges follow the recommended sentences for child porn offenders? Here’s a government report answering that question.

by Dale Chappell

If Congress wants to complain that federal judges are “too lenient” on child pornography offenders, it may want to take a look at a recent report by the ...

SCOTUS Holds AEDPA’s Restrictions on Habeas Relief Trump Federal Courts’ Authority Under All Writs Act

by Dale Chappell

The Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS” or “Court”) held that a federal court’s  transportation order permitting a prisoner to seek out new evidence pursuant to the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651, which authorizes federal courts to “issue all writs necessary or appropriate in ...

Federal Habeas Corpus: Taking an Appeal After the Denial of Habeas Relief

by Dale Chappell

Federal law says that you have the “right” to appeal the denial of federal habeas corpus relief, but there’s a catch—only if the court says that you can. Congress limited the ability to appeal the denial of habeas relief under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act ...

SCOTUS Holds Attempted Hobbs Act Robbery Not a ‘Crime of Violence’ Under a § 924(c)(3)(A)

by Dale Chappell

In resolving a split among U.S. Courts of Appeals, the Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) held on June 21, 2022, that an attempted Hobbs Act robbery is not categorically a crime of violence to support a separate conviction for use of a firearm under federal ...

SCOTUS Announces Judge’s Error of Law Constitutes ‘Mistake’ for Purposes of Reopening a Case Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(1)

by Dale Chappell

In a ruling that will likely change how petitioners in federal habeas corpus cases challenge “mistakes” in their cases, the Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) held that the term “mistake” in Rule 60(b)(1) includes judicial errors of law and that motions cognizable under that Rule ...

Federal Habeas Corpus: Jurisdictional Pitfalls When Seeking Habeas Relief

by Dale Chappell

Jurisdiction has many meanings, but in federal habeas corpus, it refers to the federal court’s authority to grant relief. While there’s all sort of “shalls” and “musts” in the federal habeas statutes, not all of them are jurisdictional bars to relief. In fact, most of these ...



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