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Supreme Court to Decide if Actual Innocence Claim Excuses Late Habeas Filing

Posted Oct 29, 2012 1:34 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether an inmate who claims actual innocence is excused from the time limit for filing a habeas claim.

The court will consider whether Michigan inmate Floyd Perkins can appeal his 1997 murder conviction, report SCOTUSblog and Reuters. Perkins filed his habeas petition six years after he obtained the last of three affidavits purportedly supporting his claim of innocence. Michigan claims Perkins filed five years too late.

The Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled for Perkins, finding he did not need to show reasonable diligence to pursue his claim of actual innocence. Michigan’s petition for certiorari (PDF) said federal appeals courts are “deeply divided” over issue. The case is McQuiggin v. Perkins.

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