In Limbo: In re Davis and the Future of Herrera Innocence Claims in Federal Habeas Proceedings

Since its 1993 decision *Herrera v. Collins*, the U.S. Supreme Court has explicitly left open the question of whether freestanding claims of innocence may serve as a basis for relief in federal capital habeas proceedings. A recent memorandum opinion, *In re Davis*, indicates the Court may be preparing to answer that question in the affirmative. Recognizing the viability of *Herrera* claims, however, raises a variety of practical concerns. This Note proposes a system for reviewing freestanding innocence claims that balances these practical considerations with society’s growing concern for the plight of the wrongfully convicted.