The result of ineffective assistance of state post-conviction counsel and the seeming inability to raise such a claim is dire. Under the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA"), state post-conviction proceedings are supposed to provide a comprehensive review of a defendant's death sentence. Death-sentenced persons such as Mr. Lee, Mr. Kemp, and Mr. Noel, however, whose counsel failed to raise claims in state post-conviction proceedings, are in almost all cases barred from raising such claims in federal habeas corpus proceedings. The inability to do so is difficult to overstate because federal courts are the forum in which a defendant stands the greatest chance of garnering relief from a death sentence.
Rosichan, Megan K.
"A Meaningless Ritual? The Due Process Mandate for the Provision of Competent Counsel in Arkansas Capital Post-Conviction Proceedings,"
University of San Francisco Law Review: Vol. 38
, Article 5.
Available at: http://repository.usfca.edu/usflawreview/vol38/iss4/5