This Note begins in Part I by providing a general introduction to modern postconviction relief, with special attention to the interaction between habeas corpus petitions and the § 2255 motion that performs much of the work traditionally assigned to the habeas writ. Section I.A begins to describe the debate in the federal circuit courts over the proper scope of the clause of § 2255 with which this Note is primarily concerned, the so-called “savings clause” of § 2255(e). Section I.B relates the importance of correctly construing the savings clause, as well as the dangers of a split in circuit interpretation for a uniform criminal system. Part II and Part III describe the majority and minority approaches to interpreting § 2255(e). Part II does so primarily by describing two Fourth Circuit cases, In re Jones and United States v. Wheeler, as they are an instructive introduction to the majority position. Part IV evaluates the majority and minority positions and argues that the minority’s narrow interpretation of the clause is superior to that of the expansive approach of the majority. Finally, Part V provides a diagnosis of the division between the circuits on the savings clause, as well as a brief conclusion on the relative merits of the two positions.
Ethan D. Beck,
Adequate and Effective: Postconviction Relief Through Section 2255 and Intervening Changes in Law,
Notre Dame L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.nd.edu/ndlr/vol95/iss5/8