Edict v. Dicta: Rolling Back Rights in the Second Circuit Under the Clearly Established Clause of the AEDPA Amended Habeas Statute
Goldschneider, Aron E.
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This article, through a close critical analysis of two recent habeas corpus decisions by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, shows how appellate courts, under § 2254 of the AEDPA amended habeas statute, are methodically erasing venerable and well-considered federal habeas precedents that formerly protected state defendants' rights. In the process of examining these Second Circuit decisions' impact on two discrete areas of criminal trial procedure, the article exposes the way in which habeas review under the AEDPA too often becomes a formalistic yet un-disciplined exercise that turns away from the crucial question that should be at the heart of the habeas inquiry--whether or not the defendant was accorded a fair trial under our nation's Constitution.