Vanderbilt Law Review

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Recent Cases

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Responding to an increase in the number of habeas corpus petitions filed by federal prisoners in the district courts whose jurisdictions included federal prisons,, Congress in 1948 enacted 28 U.S.C. § 2255.1 The statute's purpose is to provide federal prisoners with an expeditious remedy for correcting erroneous sentencing without resort to habeas corpus.' In an effort to restrict the number of evidentiary hearings required, section 2255 provides for denial of petitions in which the motion, files, and records of the case conclusively demonstrate that the prisoner is entitled to no relief." Since approximately two-thirds of all federal criminal prosecutions are disposed of by guilty pleas,' one of the allegations most often advanced in connection with a section 2255 claim is that the guilty plea was involuntary and thus insufficient to support the sentence imposed.'

Theodore Brown, Jr.


The instant decision is grounded in persuasive and well-reasoned criticism of the obvious defect rule and is a logical extension of the modern trend in products liability. The Campo doctrine is an anomaly in the law at a time when the manufacturer's liability is expanding in recognition of his superior position to recognize defects and provide safeguards; a doctrine that "amounts to an assumption of risk defense as a matter of law,"-" when the plaintiff's contributory fault need no longer necessarily bar his recovery, is clearly in apposite. The instant court's willingness to overturn along--established, judicially created rule of law represents a departure from the reasoning of the Campo court, which refused to allow the courts to become arbiters of safety, leaving the task to the legislature. The instant decision, it should be noted, is compatible with the comparative negligence statute recently enacted by the New York legislature.

Janet R. Necessary