Alaska Civil Rule 86 Amendment - Habeas Corpus
In January 1995, the supreme court amended Civil Rule 86 Alaska's habeas corpus rule by adding sections (m) and (n).
As explained above, section (m) of Civil Rule 86 declares that habeas corpus is not available in situations where a post- conviction proceeding could be brought under Criminal Rule 35.1.
In such cases, courts are directed to treat any habeas corpus complaint as an application for post-conviction relief. Section (n) of the Rule 86 clarifies that habeas corpus is not intended to serve as "a substitute for ... any remedy incident to the proceedings in the trial court, or direct review of a sentence or conviction."
Section (m) was based on this court's decision in Wood v. Endell, while section (n) was intended as a counterpart to Criminal Rule 35.1(b).
Later that same year, the legislature substantially amended post-conviction relief procedures by re-writing Criminal Rule 35.1 and by enacting AS 12.72.
The new version of Criminal Rule 35.1 contains no provision like former section (h), the rule requiring joinder of claims. In fact, the legislature expressly repealed Rule 35.1(h).
However, the legislature codified various new restrictions on post-conviction relief in AS 12.72.020. Subsection 020(a)(1) prohibits a defendant from pursuing a claim for post-conviction relief if the claim "is based on the admission or exclusion of evidence at trial".
Subsection (a)(2) prohibits a defendant from pursuing a claim for post-conviction relief if the claim "was, or could have been ...,raised [on] direct appeal". Subsections (a)(3) and (a)(4) place time limits on petitions for post-conviction relief. (Depending on the circumstances, the petition must be filed within either one or two years of the date of the judgement being attacked, or within one year of an ensuing decision on appeal.)
Subsection (a)(5) prohibits a defendant from pursuing a claim that was either "decided on its merits or on procedural grounds in any previous proceeding".
And finally, subsection (a)(6) prohibits a defendant from pursuing a claim for post-conviction relief if the defendant "has ... filed a previous application for post-conviction relief".
AS 12.72.020(a)(6) performs a function analogous to the rule of compulsory joinder of claims contained in former Criminal Rule 35.1(h), but the statute reaches farther than the old rule.
Under former Rule 35.1(h), a petitioner could pursue a second petition for post-conviction relief if the defendant demonstrated that the new claim could not have been raised earlier. AS 12.72.060(a)(6) contains no such exception.
Under AS 12.72.020(a)(6), defendants are no longer permitted to file a second petition for post- conviction relief, even if they can show that they were unable to raise their claim in their first petition.