Washington Law Review


Mark A. Wilner


RCW 10.73.090 establishes a one-year deadline for appealing a final criminal judgment in Washington State. This Comment argues that this one-year deadline should be subject to the doctrine of equitable tolling, which can prevent a statute of limitation from expiring when extraordinary circumstances preclude timely filing. After examining the text, legislative history, structure, purpose, and policy implications of RCW 10.73.090, this Comment demonstrates that the one-year deadline does not operate as a jurisdictional bar, which would revoke judicial power to hear a postconviction appeal after one year under any circumstances, but instead acts as a statute of limitation subject to equitable tolling. This Comment also argues that the filing deadline should be subject to equitable tolling because the overwhelming majority of federal circuit courts to consider the issue have reached the similar conclusion that the one-year limitation for filing federal habeas corpus petitions can be equitably tolled.

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