SCOTUS: Jones v Hendrix - no habeas corpus for you

Issue before or regarding the Supreme Court of The United States

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Supreme Court injustice: ‘legal innocence’ is not enough​

As the Supreme Court term draws to a close, attention is understandably focused on the big-ticket cases. Lost in the shuffle is Jones v. Hendrix, a habeas corpus case brought by a federal prisoner who was convicted 23 years ago, and who still has several more years to serve on his 327-month sentence, for being a felon in possession of a firearm and making false statements to acquire a firearm. Americans who pay attention to the Supreme Court need to be aware of this decision because it offers a disturbing perspective on the Court as currently constituted.

Lots of people who find themselves charged with criminal offenses claim they are innocent. Mostly, they mean they didn’t “do it.” They may claim it’s all a case of mistaken identity, or they may claim an alibi (i.e., they were somewhere else at the time). But sometimes — and it’s rare — the claim is that, whether or not they “did” what they are said to have done, it wasn’t a crime.

This kind of claim rests on the notion that the criminal statute, properly interpreted, simply doesn’t cover the defendant’s conduct. This is called “statutory innocence” or “legal innocence.” A person cannot be convicted based on conduct that is not criminal under some statute. But what if the correct interpretation of the statute is not handed down until after, maybe long after, the person is convicted and regular appellate review has been completed?

More here:

Before last month, it was already difficult for federal prisoners to prove their innocence in court. But now, after the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision in Jones v. Hendrix, many innocent people may find it next to impossible to have their sentences reduced or convictions overturned. In the 6-3 ruling, the nation’s highest court restricted the right of habeas corpus—the right to not serve unlawful imprisonment—by stating that imprisoned people who have already filed for post-conviction relief can be barred from filing a second time, even if they’re innocent of the crime for which they’ve been incarcerated.

“People who are legally innocent of a crime—or legally innocent of a sentencing enhancement—are now destined to serve the entirety of their sentence in prison,” Alison Guernsey, the director of the Federal Criminal Defense Clinic at the University of Iowa College of Law, told The Appeal.

In 1996, during the tough-on-crime era, President Bill Clinton signed the sweeping Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA). That law dramatically limits people’s right to challenge their sentences and convictions. Over the years, the Court has repeatedly interpreted AEDPA in ways that narrow an incarcerated person’s already slim avenues for relief. Now with Jones, the Court has eliminated opportunities for some innocent prisoners.

Just reading what you posted and not having dug into the details for a more complete understanding, that sounds like SCOTUS really screwed the pooch.
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