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State University of New York at Buffalo Faculty of Law and Jurisprudence




The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (Pub. L. 104-132), signed into law on April 24, 1996, represents Congress' attempt to deal with the problems deemed to beset federal habeas corpus for state prisoners. This new statute addresses many important aspects of habeas law and practice and, as to them, now occupies the field to the exclusion of previous arrangements-whether developed as a construction of preexisting statutes or as interstitial decisional law. On the whole, however, Pub. L. 104-132 presupposes the basic framework now in place. This matter-of-fact point (that the new statute takes the preexisting habeas landscape as its baseline) will be of vital significance for the interpretive task that lies ahead.

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