By Dale Chappell

Filing a habeas corpus petition in federal court is a bit like going for a walk in a live minefield. Blindfolded. One wrong step and it’s game over. There’s no do-over. That means you’ve got to make that one shot count. Part of navigating the habeas minefield is understanding why things are done a certain way in habeas cases. If you understand the why of the process, knowing the how will make more sense.

That’s the idea behind Insider’s Guide: Federal Habeas Corpus for State Prisoners. You could have the greatest claim in the world, but if you don’t know how to bring it before the court it doesn’t matter.

Author Dale Chappell has over 15 years of experience in federal habeas corpus matters, with hundreds of published articles on the subject. With so many petitioners, often pro se, having their petitions under 28 U.S.C. Sec. 2254 tossed out of court because of a mere technicality, Insider’s Guide: Federal Habeas Corpus for State Prisoners sheds some insight on the layout of the habeas minefield.

Knowledge is the key in federal habeas corpus. The obstacles prisoners face with their habeas petitions were created by Congress and the courts to cut down on repeated filings by prisoners trying to overturn their convictions and sentences. It wasn’t that prisoners intentionally filed frivolous claims. Most often, they just didn’t know what they were doing. With Insider’s Guide: Federal Habeas Corpus for State Prisoners, you’ll have a firm grasp on how federal habeas corpus works so that your petition might have a better outcome.

Also see Insider’s Guide: Habeas Corpus for Federal Prisoners, navigating the same habeas minefield, but with a focus on habeas relief for federal prisoners.