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Imprisoned by the PastWarren McCleskey and the American Death Penalty$
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Jeffrey L. Kirchmeier

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199967933

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199967933.001.0001

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Offie Evans and McCleskey v. Zant

Offie Evans and McCleskey v. Zant

Chapter:
(p.31) Chapter 3 Offie Evans and McCleskey v. Zant
Source:
Imprisoned by the Past
Author(s):

Jeffrey L. Kirchmeier

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199967933.003.0004

This chapter discusses the post-conviction review process for capital cases, explaining how McCleskey v. Zant went to the Supreme Court and how the Court decided the case. After jurors sentenced Warren McCleskey to death, McCleskey’s lawyers appealed his case and then sought post-conviction relief in the state and federal courts. McCleskey’s attorneys raised two claims regarding the key trial witness Offie Evans: (1) that Evans misled the jury about the fact that he had been promised help with his case, and (2) that the police violated McCleskey’s Sixth Amendment right to an attorney by asking Evans to get information from McCleskey. Eventually, the Sixth Amendment issue went to the U.S. Supreme Court. But in McCleskey v. Zant the Court did not address the merits of the constitutional claim, instead issuing an important decision about successive habeas corpus petitions and abuse of the writ.

Keywords:   McCleskey v. Zant, Warren McCleskey, Offie Evans, Sixth Amendment, habeas corpus, abuse of writ, Supreme Court, death penalty, post-conviction

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