Published on: Tuesday, October 31, 2017

On October 30th, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in two capital cases.  In Ayesta v. Davis, 16-6795, the Court is considering “[w]hether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit erred in holding that 18 U.S.C. § 3599(f) withholds ‘reasonably necessary’ resources to investigate and develop an ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim that state habeas counsel forfeited, where the claimant's existing evidence does not meet the ultimate burden of proof at the time the Section 3599(f) motion is made.”  A transcript of the oral argument is here.  SCOTUSblog provides an analysis of the argument here.

In Wilson v. Sellers, No. 1-6855, the Court granted certiorari to consider “[w]hether the court's decision in Harrington v. Richter silently abrogates the presumption set forth in Ylst v. Nunnemaker – that a federal court sitting in habeas proceedings should “look through” a summary state court ruling to review the last reasoned decision – as a slim majority of the en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit held in this case, despite the agreement of both parties that the Ylst presumption should continue to apply.”  A transcript of the oral argument is here.  SCOTUSblog provided a preview of the oral argument here.

The Training Division provides resource materials to federal capital trial and federal habeas counsel through the Capital Defense Network.