In May of this year, the U.S. Supreme Court granted Arizona’s petition for certiorari in Shinn v. Ramirez and its companion case Shinn v. Jones. To understand the significance of the grant requires a journey through the procedural thicket that is modern day federal habeas jurisprudence. Arizona describes the issue this way: Does the general prohibition on a federal habeas court’s considering evidence outside the state court record “apply when a court reviews the merits of an ineffective-assistance claim that has passed through [the] Martinez gateway around procedural default?” Disentangling that sentence is worthy of a Law Journal article, so here goes.

Of the two companion cases, I focus on Jones for ease of exposition.

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