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procedural default n: a failure to follow state appellate procedure (as in the exhaustion of state remedies) that bars federal esp. habeas corpus review of a case in the absence of a showing of cause for and prejudice from the failure or sometimes in the absence of proof that the bar would result in a miscarriage of justice
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.