By Mary Welek Atwell (auth.)

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32 These cases were exceptional in mentioning international standards. As Frank Michelman points out, the United States has usually stood aloof from international human rights judgments. The opinion of Justice Scalia might be seen as typically “parochial” in its disregard for developments outside the United States33 Often American courts T h e L e g al F r am e wo r k 33 interpreted human rights issues as a one-way street. 34 Coleman: The Issue of Procedural Default In 1991, the Supreme Court issued a ruling in Coleman v.

This prong of the test was also extremely difficult to prove. Was it the defense attorney’s failures or the strength of the prosecution’s case that led to the result? The Supreme Court held further that an appellate court could first determine whether the proceedings in general were fundamentally fair before evaluating the performance of defense counsel. In other words, they could decide that, in general, the trial was not too unfair and if that was the case, the attorney’s poor showing was irrelevant.

Further, the Eleventh Amendment providing that “States, in the absence of consent, are immune from suits brought against them . . 24 In effect, they rejected Paraguay’s argument of an exception to the Eleventh Amendment because Virginia was committing a continuing violation of the Vienna Convention. ”25 They seemed able to divorce Breard’s ongoing incarceration and imminent execution from Virginia’s violation of his rights under the Vienna Convention. The Supreme Court nodded to the proceedings before the ICJ and its provisional ruling, but denied any authority to carry out the ICJ’s request for a delay in Breard’s execution.

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