Jenner & Block

Fritz Prevails in Pro Bono Habeas Corpus Appeal

A federal court of appeals recently reversed the dismissal of a pro bono client’s habeas corpus petition by finding the factual record was insufficiently developed to determine whether the client’s prison law libraries contained adequate Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act materials to allow him to file a timely habeas corpus petition.

Jenner & Block Associate Wendy L. Fritz had argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit that correctional facilities located in Pinkneyville and Pontiac where the Firm’s client was incarcerated contained resources that were “limited and outdated,” thus hindering his attempt to prepare a habeas petition within the one-year statute of limitations.

Now on remand in the U.S. District Court, the issue to be determined is whether the correctional facilities’ law libraries were in fact inadequate, thus causing delay in the client’s quest for habeas corpus relief.

Jenner & Block Partner Barry Levenstam also served as a supervising attorney in this matter.


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