A few habeas-related things I have seen lately:
Further defense of habeas in response to King and Hoffman at a Ohio-focused blog called Gamso - For the Defense. It's long but good. And I joked about this before, but now The End of Habeas is a movie, or at least a youtube video.
An en-banc Ninth Circuit reaffirmed a prior grant of habeas relief to a "teen mass murderer" in Doody v. Ryan. The court had previously granted habeas relief on the grounds that the petitioner had not been properly advised of his Miranda rights. The Supreme Court GVR'd the case in light of Florida v. Powell. However, on remand, the Ninth Circuit held that Powell did not change its conclusion that habeas should be granted.
At the other end, the Fourth Circuit reversed a grant of habeas in Jackson v. Kelly. The district court had held an evidentiary hearing and then granted habeas relief based on IAC during the penalty phase of petitioner's case. In the new extraordinarily restrictive post-Richter and post-Pinholster habeas landscape, the Fourth Circuit held that, based on the evidence that was before the state court, its decision was not unreasonable.
Freakonomics reports that a recent study to be published shows that initial sentences handed down to minority defendants convicted of killing white victims were as much as 9 percent more likely to involve errors that had to be reversed than were those in cases involving a minority defendant killing a minority victim. According to the summary of the study, "This result holds strong both for the cases that reach the final stage of revisions and appeal, the Habeas Corpus stage in Federal Courts, and for the full sample of cases in the first appeal stage, called Direct Appeal."
An interview with Laura Moye of Amnesty International about the Troy Davis case.
The Atlantic has a short post by Wendy Kaminer entitled, When Justice Becomes a Mere Technicality. Using the Second Circuit case of Rosario v. Griffin as an example, the writer states that, under our current system, "as long as the state observes all procedural niceties (or technicalities), it is empowered to execute people* who, on second thought, seem innocent. The state is not required to entertain such inconvenient second thoughts."
*Kaminer acknowledges in her analysis that Rosario has actually been sentenced to 25 years to life, not the death penalty. Nevertheless, her logic stays the same -- the State won't reconsider the question of petitioner's innocence even though he faces a maximum term of life in prison.