This article discusses the continued importance of rigorous habeas corpus review of state court convictions, particularly those obtained in states with an elected judiciary. Given the political pressures faced by elected judges and the tremendous amounts of money now being spent by candidates and third party groups in state judicial elections, it is highly doubtful that state courts can sufficiently protect and enforce the constitutional rights of unpopular litigants such as the criminally accused. An emerging body of research demonstrates that political pressure does indeed affect the manner in which judges rule in criminal cases. Accordingly, habeas corpus review by life-tenured federal judges should, if anything, be expanded, rather than reduced or eliminated, as some have argued.

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