This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the passage of two significant federal statutes. The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act sought to recalibrate the relationship between state and federal courts by limiting the scope of federal habeas corpus review of state criminal convictions and by restricting the availability of federal habeas relief. The Prison Litigation Reform Act limited the availability of federal relief for prisoners by codifying exhaustion requirements, mandating full payment of filing fees, requiring a physical injury as a basis for recovery for mental or emotional injury, and adding a “three strikes” rule that bars prisoner access to federal court in certain circumstances.
The Case Western Reserve Law Review will sponsor a symposium examining these laws in the quarter-century since their adoption. Among the issues to be explored are the statutes’ impact on persons and communities of color, the ability of prisoners to obtain meaningful judicial relief, the health consequences for prisoners during the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability of the federal courts to address prisoner claims, and the relationship between state and federal courts.
These questions and others will be addressed at a daylong conference on November 12, 2021. The program will feature a wide range of legal scholars, judges, and lawyers who deal with AEDPA and PLRA issues. The symposium is co-sponsored by the Federal Litigation Section of the Federal Bar Association and the Northern District of Ohio chapter of the FBA; the Attorney Admissions Fund of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio has also provided financial support.