The State Post-Conviction Process. Appeals from the Trial Judge:

April 6, 2022

In our last entry, we discussed the most frequently raised issue seen in post-conviction cases in State courts and in Federal courts across the country (i.e., Rule 32 and Rule 33 motions in Arizona, "2255" or "2254" motions in federal court). The issue is "ineffective assistance of counsel," as most prominently recognized in Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 104 S.Ct. 2052, 80 L.Ed.2d 674 (1984), the United States Supreme Court case around which so much of post-conviction litigation revolves.

But what happens if the judge denies a post-conviction claim? What happens next? At the State level in Arizona, the losing party must commence another round of appeals - much like the "direct appeal" after trial. But at the federal level, there is no right to appeal the denial of a "2255" or a "2254" motion. Instead, the litigant must ask both the judge and then the Federal appellate court for a "certificate of appealability," which grants permission to appeal (and then, only the specific claims listed in the "certificate").

This is not as easy as it sounds. In our next installment, I will offer some statistics which show how difficult our federal courts have made it, to obtain a "certificate of appealability," or "COA."

In the meantime, if you have a friend or family member fighting the battle for post-conviction relief, and feel you need assistance, please call this office immediately. There are always time deadlines limiting when these claims can be raised. If you wish to learn more about the process, call now.

Jonathan Laurans wants you to be educated as to what you may be facing. If you or a loved one has been convicted of a crime in Arizona, or in any federal court, contact him immediately. Visit his website at www.azpostconviction.com and then call him at (833) 421-5200 for a FREE initial legal consultation.