Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Professor Nancy King (Vanderbilt) and Joseph L. Hoffman (Indiana) have a new book published by University of Chicago Press, titled, Habeas for the Twenty-First Century: Uses, Abuses, and the Future of the Great Writ.
If this book is like the authors recent op-ed in the NYTimes, it is likely to be extremely controversial on its recommendations on state prisoner habeas. (see op-ed by King and Hoffman here and letters to the editor in response here)(see also Andrea Lyons op ed in response and Nancy Kings response here). Although I tend to be on the side of the responses against the King Hoffman op-ed, I do think this book will offer a much needed history of 2255 and I understand that chapter 6 includes federal criminal cases, which will be helpful to white collar practitioners.
But I do hope that recommendations such as advocated in this op ed are not adopted. Justice is never too expensive. Nor can we assume that eliminating one process will pour money into indigent resources that might correct problems with the system. No matter what the cost of correcting an injustice in the system is, it needs to be done. I am deeply disappointed that too many today reference cost, expensiveness, or efficiency as rationales for shortcutting processes that may assist only a few folks. As I always ask - if you are that one person who could benefit from this criminal process correction, would you want it discarded for efficiency sake?
But that said, I do look forward to seeing this forthcoming book in an area that definitely needs study.