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Pursuing A Post-Appeal Collateral Attack On Conviction Pursuing A Post-Appeal Collateral Attack Following An Unsuccessful Original Appeal

It is common for a post-appeal collateral attack to be initiated after an original, direct appeal has been unsuccessful. However, it’s crucial to bear in mind that a post-appeal collateral attack in state court (commonly known as a 6500 motion) can only address issues not covered in the direct appeal.

Furthermore, a federal post conviction petition under 28 U.S.C. 2254 must satisfy two important criteria – the issue must be properly preserved (or federalized) in state court, and it must be exhausted through the entire appellate process. This means that the issue/objection must have been clearly cited to a federal constitutional provision in the trial court (federalized), and the Michigan Supreme Court was given an opportunity to rule on it and either rejected the issue of declined to grant the application for leave. As long as these prerequisites are met, a post-appeal collateral attack on a conviction is the standard route when the original appeal has not achieved the desired outcome.

Impact Of the Doctrine Of Finality Of Judgments On Post-Appeal Collateral Attacks

The doctrine of finality of judgments significantly influences post-appeal collateral attacks. The criminal justice system highly values finality – cases need to end at some point. The system believes that finality also aligns with the rights of the alleged victim under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, and it serves an important societal goal (having cases not last forever). There is an understanding that a case cannot persist indefinitely and that every case must have a conclusion.

As a result, the criminal justice system assigns tremendous importance to a jury’s verdict – where the unanimous agreement of 12 citizens beyond a reasonable doubt is required before a defendant can be found guilty. Once this verdict is achieved, it is viewed as a high burden met that was met by the prosecution, and thus, the jury verdict is granted a significant degree of finality and respect. Overturning the verdict is reserved only for the most exceptional and unique circumstances.

This degree of finality extends to a defendant’s right to appeal a conviction after trial to the Court of Appeals. Consequently, three Court of Appeals judges review the legal flaws associated with the conviction in a direct appeal and endorse the conviction.

The defendant also has the opportunity to file an application for leave to appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court. If any three Supreme Court justices agree that the case warrants their attention, the application for leave to appeal would be granted. If this application for leave is denied or the defendant’s conviction is upheld once more, the law states that a judgment should become final at some point.

The defendant is provided with a jury trial, an automatic right to appeal to the Court of Appeals, and an opportunity to request permission to appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court. This process is accorded a certain degree of respect and deference due to the finality of judgments. Consequently, this is why the standards for granting a 6500 Motion or a 2254 in federal court (also known as a federal habeas petition), are considerably high. Thus, the doctrine of finality of judgments significantly impacts post-appeal collateral attacks.

For more information on Pursuing A Post-Appeal Collateral Attack On Conviction, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (248) 509-0056 today.

Mark Satawa

Call Today For Your Free Case Strategy Session
(248) 509-0056