By Mary Welek Atwell (auth.)
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Additional resources for An American Dilemma: International Law, Capital Punishment, and Federalism
Justice Blackmun also had something to say about the failure of attorneys. “To permit a procedural default caused by an attorney error egregious enough to constitute ineffective assistance of counsel to preclude federal habeas review of a state prisoner’s federal claims in no way serves the State’s interest in preserving the integrity of its rules and proceedings. ”44 The dissenters seemed distressed that the majority were on a “crusade to erect petty procedural barriers” to federal review. ”45 Many of those who were denied the rights to consular notification, but were unaware that such rights even existed, would agree.
Their cavalier attitude seems to suggest that the occasional execution of an innocent person is less important than an efficient system. The three justices who dissented in Herrera wrote a strong indictment of the implication that “finality” was more important that accuracy. “Just as an execution without adequate safeguards is unacceptable, so too is an execution when the condemned prisoner 36 A n A m e r i ca n D i l e m m a can prove he is innocent. The execution of such a person . . ” The dissenters also challenged the idea that the innocent could rely on executive clemency as a remedy for their wrongful convictions.
10 They apparently believed that the United States could ignore the international norms and rules either because no other nation could force the United States to conform or maybe because its norms and rules were superior to the rest of the world. 11 While world opinion on capital punishment evolved in the late twentieth century, within the United States, the Supreme Court was crafting a complex body of law on the subject. Under the leadership of Chief Justice Earl Warren in the 1950s and 1960s, the court embarked on the process of incorporating the provisions of the Bill of Rights to the states.
An American Dilemma: International Law, Capital Punishment, and Federalism by Mary Welek Atwell (auth.)