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The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) unequivocally bars state prisoners from reasserting previously presented claims for habeas relief. Currently, the circuits are embroiled in a disagreement regarding whether the AEDPA also bars federal prisoners in the same way, and federal prisoners’ potentially viable claims for habeas relief hang in the balance. Prior to the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Jones v. United States, six circuits agreed that the AEDPA does bar federal prisoners’ previously asserted habeas claims, but the Sixth Circuit alone disagreed. Now, the Jones decision aligns the Ninth Circuit with the Sixth Circuit’s position. Through an in-depth analysis of Jones, this Note argues that Jones was rightly decided and that the AEDPA should not be construed to bar federal prisoners’ previously presented habeas claims. Since both textual analysis and sound public policy compel this conclusion, this Note proposes that the Supreme Court should adopt Jones’s holding to end this circuit split.



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