Can Lawyer Assist Challenging the Method of Execution ?
In Tompkins v. Sec'y Dep't. of Corrs., 557 F.3d 1257, 1261 (11th Cir. 2009), the Eleventh Circuit held that habeas petitions are not proper for challenging a state's intended method of execution.
The practical effect of the more restrictive statutory construction and holdings of these recent cases is the extension of an incorrect fiction and creation of an unintended gap in representation for capital defendants. Now, under our current interpretation of chapter 27, Capital Collateral Regional Counsel (CCRC) attorneys are not permitted to assist capital defendants to challenge the method of execution portion of the judgment and sentence, which is integral to the legality of the judgment and sentence, in federal court by any means.