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Monday, June 20, 2005

Dodd: One year limitations period construed

In Dodd v. U.S., No. 04-5286 (June 20, 2005), the Supreme Court held that the one-year statute of limitations for post-conviction motions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 for periods which run from the date on which a right was "newly recognized by the Supreme Court," begins to run on the date the Supreme Court initially recognized the right, not from the date on which the right was "made retroactive."
The Court grounded its interpretation of the limitations provision in the plain language of the statute. The Court recognized "the potential for harsh results" from its interpretation. But the Court held that so long as the result was not "absurd," it was not free to rewrite the statute Congress had written.