Barefoot v. Estelle

In Barefoot v. Estelle, 463 U.S. 880 (1983), the Court considered the proper standard for granting or denying a stay pending consideration of an appeal from a dismissal of a first federal habeas petition. The Court stated: "When a certificate of probable cause is issued by the district court, as it was in this case, or later by the court of appeals, petitioner must then be afforded an opportunity to address the merits, and the court of appeals is obligated to decide the merits of the appeal. Accordingly, a court of appeals, where necessary to prevent the case from becoming moot by the petitioner's execution, should grant a stay of execution pending disposition of an appeal when a condemned prisoner obtains a certificate of probable cause on his initial habeas appeal." Id., at 893-894.