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A Primer On Post-Conviction Habeas Corpus Review
By Brent E. Newton
After the direct appeal process has been completed, a criminal defendant
may file a “collateral” challenge to his conviction and sentence.1 Such collateral review — most commonly referred to as “habeas corpus”
— is a separate quasi-civil proceeding, typically filed with the
original trial court, and is not a continuation of the “direct” review
process.2 Such post-conviction habeas corpus review should be distinguished from pre-convictionhabeas corpus
actions, which may be filed in federal court under 28 U.S.C. § 2241
when a defendant wishes to challenge a state’s right to proceed on
criminal charges as a violation of the Double Jeopardy Clause.3 Certain jurisdictions also permit pre-conviction habeas corpus actions to challenge “excessive” bail amounts or outright denials of bail.4 In the vast majority of jurisdictions, in order to file any type of habeas corpus action, a criminal defendant must be in “custody” at the time that the habeas corpus petition is filed, altho
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