Aimee Briel Clesi

Aimee Briel Clesi

The New Southern Gothic: Habeas Corpus, AEDPA, and the Nightmare of Proving Actual Innocence


Aimee Briel Clesi


Dr. Steven Noll


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


<p>Investigating the demise of the writ of habeas corpus under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), this paper questions the callused lineage of cases upholding Title I of AEDPA. This research contends that states must take up statutory methods, as Texas has, to review defendants’ claims of actual innocence, thereby ensuring that the legal system designed under the U.S. Constitution remains fair and just not only in theory but in practice. Using imagery from the southern gothic genre, this paper also reveals that “the death belt” most adequately portrays the reality of the death penalty, as many appeals based on actual innocence originate from this area.</p>


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