The Future of Teague Retroactivity, or "Redressability," after Danforth V. Minnesota: Why Lower Courts Should Give Retroactive Effect to New Constitutional Rules of Criminal Procedure in Postconviction Proceedings

By Lasch, Christopher N. | American Criminal Law Review, Winter 2009 | Go to article overview

The Future of Teague Retroactivity, or "Redressability," after Danforth V. Minnesota: Why Lower Courts Should Give Retroactive Effect to New Constitutional Rules of Criminal Procedure in Postconviction Proceedings


Lasch, Christopher N., American Criminal Law Review


Although the Supreme Court's 1989 decision in Teague v. Lane generally prohibits the application of new constitutional rides of criminal procedure in federal habeas review of state court judgments, the Court's 2008 decision in Danforth v. Minnesota frees state courts from Teague's strictures. Danforth explicitly permits state courts to fashion their own rules governing the retroactive application of new federal constitutional rules in postconviction proceedings, and leaves open the question whether lower federal courts are bound by Teague in postconviction review of federal criminal convictions.

In this Article, I examine the doctrinal underpinnings of the Court's retroactivity jurisprudence, and propose that state courts and the lower federal courts abandon the Supreme Court's experiment with nonretroactivity. Affording retroactive application to new constitutional rules in state and federal postconviction proceedings promotes fairness to litigants and uniformity in the development of federal constitutional criminal doctrine. Perhaps most importantly, a rule of retroactivity permits the lower state and federal courts to regain a role in the development of constitutional doctrine that had previously been constricted, first by Teague and then by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act. My examination of the Danforth opinion leads me to believe that the foundations upon which Teague was built are now crumbling. Danforth marks a shift in the Court's conception of the function of habeas corpus which portends well "for the reinvigoration of a constitutional dialogue among the lower courts and an increased role in constitutional development for the lower federal courts.

INTRODUCTION

  PROLOGUE: POSTCONVICTION PROCEDURES AS THEY EXIST TODAY
  I. HISTORY OF THE SUPREME COURT'S CRIMINAL RETROACTIVITY
     JURISPRUDENCE BEFORE DANFORTH
     A. Brown v. Allen and the Expansion of Federal Habeas
        Review
     B. The Birth of Nonretroactivity: Linkletter v. Walker and
        Professor Mishkin's Critique
     C. Expansion of the Linkletter Nonretroactivity Doctrine
     D. Justice Harlan' s Criticism of the Stovall-Linkletter
        Doctrine
     E. Overthrow of the Linkletter-Stovall Regime: Griffith v.
        Kentucky and Teague v. Lane
     F. Criticism of Teague

 II. THE DANFORTH DECISION: TEAGUE DOES NOT BIND THE STATE
     COURTS
     A. The Key Notes Struck by the Majority Opinion
     B. The Key Notes Struck by the Dissent
     C. Important Questions Left Open by Danforth

III. THE FUTURE OF RETROACTIVITY IN STATE POSTCONVICTION
     PROCEEDINGS
     A. The Court's Return to Blackstone
     B. Prospectivity and the Problem of Equality.
     C. The Nature of Judicial Review
     D. A Voice for State Courts in the Development of Federal
        Constitutional Criminal Procedure
     E. Retroactive Application of New Rules in Postconviction
        Proceedings Ensures Uniformity
     F. Finality, the Only Teague Concern that Remains
        1. The Value of "Finality" in State Postconviction
           Proceedings
        2. Benefits of Retroactivity on Collateral Review
           Outweigh Finality Concerns
        3. Addressing Finality Through Procedureal
           Mechanisms Other than Nonretroactivity
     G. Problems in Administration Avoided by the Return to
        Retroactivity

 IV. THE FUTURE OF RETROACTIVITY IN FEDERAL POSTCONVICTION
     PROCEEDINGS

  V. THE FUTURE OF RETROACTIVITY IN FEDERAL HABEAS CORPUS
     REVIEW OF STATE-COURT JUDGMENTS

CONCLUSION

INTRODUCTION

Beginning in 1965, the Supreme Court's decisions on the retroactive application of new constitutional rules of criminal procedure have presented a "confused and confusing" (1) jurisprudence. The Court's recent decision in Danforth v. Minnesota, (2) however, represents a significant and promising break with the past. Danforth makes clear the Court's retroactivity rules are binding only on federal courts considering state prisoners' habeas corpus petitions. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Future of Teague Retroactivity, or "Redressability," after Danforth V. Minnesota: Why Lower Courts Should Give Retroactive Effect to New Constitutional Rules of Criminal Procedure in Postconviction Proceedings
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.