Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Vazquez: State expressly waived procedural default

In Vazquez v. Sec., Fla. Dep’t of Corrections, No. 15-10321 (July 1, 2016), the Court reversed the denial of habeas relief to a Florida inmate, finding that the district court erroneously concluded that Vazquez had defaulted his Sixth Amendment Confrontation Clause claim, because the State had waived procedural default. The Court recognized that generally, a petitioner must exhaust all state court remedies, and, if he fails to do so, the result is procedural default, “which bars habeas relief.” Here, however, in the district court the State in its brief expressly waived reliance on procedural default. Further, the district court did not point to any factors that required a rejection of the State’s waiver.