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2005 Wis. L. Rev. 35 (2005)
Innocence, Harmless Error, and Federal Wrongful Conviction Law

handle is hein.journals/wlr2005 and id is 49 raw text is: ARTICLES

INNOCENCE, HARMLESS ERROR, AND FEDERAL
WRONGFUL CONVICTION LAW
BRANDON L. GARRETT*
Introduction ..................................................................      36
I.    The Rise of Federal Wrongful Conviction Actions ............... 42
A.    The Case of James Newsome .................................. 46
B.    Avenues for Compensation Before the DNA               Era .............. 48
C.    The Role of DNA in Wrongful Conviction Actions ........... 51
D.    Fair Trial Claims Brought in Section 1983
Wrongful Conviction Actions .................................. 53
II.   The Court's Guilt-Based Harmless Error Rules ................... 56
A.    The Chapman Rule ............................... 56
B.    Harmless Error's Focus on Guilt .............................. 58
C.    A Second Layer of Harmless Error Rules .................... 62
III. Reversing the Guilt Paradigm         in a Civil Action ...................... 63
A.    Why Harmless Error Does Not Apply in a Civil Case ........ 63
B.    Exoneration and Causation ....................................           65
IV. Incorporating Fair Trial Rights in a Civil Action ................. 69
A.    Brady v. Maryland .................................................. 69
B.    Ineffective Assistance of Counsel ............................. 75
C.    Suggestive Eyewitness Identification Procedures .............. 79
D.    Coerced Confessions ...........................................          88
E.    Fabrication of Evidence ........................................         94
V.    Returning the Constitution to Criminal Procedure ................ 99
A.    Deterrence and Section 1983 Suits as Structural Catalysts .... 99
B.    Institutional Reforms to Come .................................. 103
C.    Systemic Claims ................................................... 106
D .   Im m unity  ...........................................................  108
E.    The End of Exoneration? ........................................ 110
V I.  C onclusion   ...............................................................  111
*      Associate, Beldock Levine &    Hoffman LLP.      I gratefully acknowledge
helpful comments from Kerry Abrams, Adele Bernhard, Debi Cornwall, Sam Gross,
James Liebman, Peter Neufeld, David Rudovsky, David Sklansky, Colin Starger, and
Susan Sturm. Special thanks also to Jerome Skolnick and each of the participants in the
New York University Law School Criminal Law Lunch, where an earlier draft was
presented. I have had the privilege to represent exonerees in a number of wrongful
conviction cases while working at Cochran Neufeld & Scheck, LLP, and Beldock
Levine & Hoffman LLP and I note my past involvement where such cases are discussed.

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