Scotusnerd wrote:Yeah that makes sense, especially since PCR is so statutory. I bet different states have different approaches. I think AGs are misunderstood in how they represent the state. When an AG prosecutes, they are acting in a law enforcement role, prosecuting a crime committed against the laws of the state. They are bound by the ethical rules binding prosecutors, and are a part of the executive branch. But when an AG defends the State, whether against a post-conviction relief application or a constitutional action, I believe that AGs act as a normal lawyer who just happens to represent the State. I could be wrong though, it's a grey area.
Hmm. In my state, I'm pretty sure the appellate division of the AG handles PCR as well as direct appeals, and it's all seen as part of the state's role of prosecuting crime.
Wait... are you thinking of prisoners' allegations of deprivations of civil rights? That's not the same as PCR. So when a prisoner complains because he wasn't given gluten-free vegan food in prison, that's a civil rights allegation, it's not a collateral attack on his conviction. Because these guys are always pro se, they may well couch it as something it's not, but it's still not the same. Yes, AGs who defend the state against these kinds of allegations are like the state's in-house counsel, and these are civil claims, and so they have discovery and summary judgment and so on. But PCR is specifically alleging that there was something about the sentence or the conviction that needs to be addressed, and that's all still part of the criminal justice system.