There is a well-documented tension in the legal system between the finality of a judicial decision and a prisoner’s right to appeal their allegedly faulty sentence. A recent circuit split between the Fourth and Sixth Circuits highlights this tension, as the circuits are split on a narrow issue involving federal prisoners’ right to successive petitions for habeas corpus. Specifically, the circuits are split as to whether a new ruling of statutory law by a circuit court is sufficient to trigger the § 2255(e) savings clause and allow federal prisoners a second chance to petition for habeas corpus after their initial § 2255 appeal has failed. This Note supports the Fourth Circuit’s interpretation of § 2255(e)’s savings clause and argues for Congress to take legislative action to remedy this split and simplify the postconviction appeals process.
a. J.D., 2022, University of Illinois College of Law; B.A., 2018, University of Pittsburgh. Special thanks to my family for their endless support.
The full text of this Note is available to download as a PDF.