Stone v. Powell and the Effective Assistance of Counsel

Part I briefly identifies the considerations underlying the Stone Court’s decision to limit habeas corpus review of fourth amendment claims. Part II then argues against applying Stone to the sixth amendment claim. After establishing the analytic difference between the two constitutional claims and examining Stone‘s “opportunity for full and fair litigation” standard, it concludes that Stone is fully consistent with free review of habeas corpus petitions alleging incompetent handling of fourth amendment questions. Finally, responding to a popular interpretation of Stone, Part II demonstrates that the possibility that ineffectiveness claims may not further the determination of a defendant’s factual guilt or innocence should not preclude their review in habeas corpus proceedings.