In the years ahead both the state and federal governments will have a shared interest in improving the fairness of state post-conviction review systems. Under Cullen v. Pinholster, 131 S. Ct. 1388 (2011) states' post-conviction rulings will be given considerable deference on federal habeas corpus review if but only if they emerge from procedurally sound systems. This gives the states a finality interest and the federal government a cost-savings interest in the creation of such systems. At the same time unsound systems are increasingly vulnerable to attacks under Section 1983. These converging circumstances make it more desirable than ever that the states provide competent counsel in state post-conviction proceedings.

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