Southern District finds ‘immediate need’ to remove, amend death penalty rule

An immediate need to delete a local rule dealing with sentences of capital punishment prompted a Southern District rule change that took effect Monday.

The Indiana Southern District Court determined there was an immediate need to delete Local Criminal Rule 6-1 ­– Petitions Under 28 U.S.C. Section 2254 or 2255 in Cases Involving a Sentence of Capital Punishment, according to a Monday notice. In response, the rule was replaced with the adoption of Local Criminal Rule 38-2 – Cases Challenging the Conviction and/or Sentence Where a Sentence of Death Has Been Imposed.  

The changes, which went into effect on Monday, strike Rule 6-1 in its entirety, as well as Appendix A – Criminal – Notice of Intention to File First Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus by Person in State Custody Under Sentence of Death.

Criminal Rule 6-1 governs the procedures for a petition filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 2254 or 2255 in which a prisoner seeks relief from the death penalty. The revised rule, Criminal Rule 38-2, no longer references “the form set out in Appendix A,” which has been rendered obsolete due to the other revisions to the rule.

Comments concerning the proposed rule amendments will be accepted no later than Oct. 16. Comments can be sent via email to [email protected] or in writing to Laura A. Briggs at United States District Court, 46 E. Ohio St., Room 105, Indianapolis, 46204.

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