H.R. 3986 (111th): Effective Death Penalty Appeals Act

The text of the bill below is as of Nov 3, 2009 (Introduced).

I

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3986

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

November 3, 2009

(for himself, Mr. Nadler of New York, Mr. Conyers, Mr. Scott of Virginia, Mr. Weiner, Mr. Lewis of Georgia, and Ms. Jackson-Lee of Texas) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To amend title 28, United States Code, to clarify the availability of Federal habeas corpus relief for a person who is sentenced to death though actually innocent.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Effective Death Penalty Appeals Act.

2.

Clarification of the availability of Federal habeas corpus relief for a person who is sentenced to death though actually innocent

Section 2254(d) of title 28, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1), by striking ; or and inserting a semicolon;

(2)

in paragraph (2), by striking the period and inserting ; or; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following:

(3)

resulted in, or left in force, a sentence of death that was imposed without consideration of newly discovered evidence which, in combination with the evidence presented at trial, demonstrates that the applicant is probably not guilty of the underlying offense.

.

3.

Conforming amendments relating to second and successive petitions

(a)

State convictions

Section 2244(b) of title 28, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1), by striking A and inserting Except as provided in paragraph (5), a;

(2)

by adding at the end the following:

(5)

A claim that an applicant was sentenced to death without consideration of newly discovered evidence which, in combination with the evidence presented at trial, could reasonably be expected to demonstrate that the applicant is probably not guilty of the underlying offense may be presented in a second or successive habeas corpus application.

.

(b)

Federal convictions

Section 2255(h) of title 28, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1), by striking or;

(2)

by striking the period at the end of paragraph (2) and inserting ; or; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following:

(3)

a claim that an applicant was sentenced to death without consideration of newly discovered evidence which, in combination with the evidence presented at trial, could reasonably be expected to demonstrate that the applicant is probably not guilty of the underlying offense.

.