Monday, November 29, 2010

No constitutional right to a properly licensed prosecutor

Woods v. United States, Nos. 1:09CV917, 1:06CR189-2, 2010 WL 4746138 (M.D.N.C. Nov. 16, 2010):

Woods moved pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 because, inter alia, the prosecutor was not properly licensed to practice law—his license was suspended.  The Middle District of North Carolina sides with many other districts (but not the State of Illinois) in holding that there is no constitutional right to a properly licensed prosecutor.

Additionally, the Court notes that a significant question exists as to whether an "actual innocence" exception to AEDPA's statute of limitations exists.  Compare Souter v. Jones, 395 F.3d 577, 599 (6th Cir.2005) (recognizing an actual innocence exception), with Escamilla v. Jungwirth, 426 F.3d 868, 872 (7th Cir.2005) (actual innocence is not related to timeliness).  If such exception exists, the threshold for meeting that exception is extremely high.  [August 18, 2011 Update:  For the Ninth Circuit's en banc opinion on the matter, see Lee v. Lampert, No. 09-35276 (9th Cir. Aug. 2, 2011) (en banc))].

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