Brief Fact Summary. The petitioner, Teague (the “petitioner”) was convicted in an Illinois state court of attempted murder and other offenses. The prosecutor used all ten of his peremptory challenges to exclude blacks from the jury. The petitioner twice unsuccessfully moved for a mistrial arguing that he was entitled to a jury of his peers.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. An individual may not seek to enforce a new rule of law in federal habeas corpus proceedings if the new rule was announced after the petitioner’s conviction became final, or if the petitioner is seeking to establish a wholly new rule or to apply a settled precedent in a novel way that would result in the creation of a new rule.
Justice Stevens noted that Justice Harlan's interest in making convictions final was an interest that is wholly inapplicable to the capital sentencing context.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Is the petitioner prevented from benefiting from the rule in Batson since his conviction became final before Batson was decided?
Is the petitioner procedurally barred from raising the Equal Protection Clause claim under Swain since he did not raise the claim at trial or on direct appeal?
Held. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (“J. O’Connor”) delivered the opinion of the Court in regards to Parts I, II, and III. The Supreme Court of the United States (“Supreme Court”) held that the Petitioner was procedurally barred from benefiting from the Batson rule since his conviction was final before Batson was decided.
Also, the Supreme Court held that the petitioner is barred from raising a claim that he has established a violation of the Equal Protection Clause under Swain because he did not raise the Swain claim at trial or on direct appeal.
Dissent. Justice William Brennan (“J. Brennan”), joined by Justice Thurgood Marshall (“J. Marshall”), issued a dissenting opinion arguing that the Supreme Court should grant certiorari in another case raising the same issue and have a full briefing and oral argument. J. Brennan believes the Supreme Court’s decision will preclude federal courts from considering on collateral review a vast range of important constitutional challenges.
Concurrence. Justice Byron White (“J. White”) issued a concurring opinion asserting that the result as to not applying the fair cross section rule retroactively is an acceptable application in collateral proceedings of the theories embraced by the Supreme Court in cases dealing with direct review.
Justice Harry Blackmun (“J. Blackmun”) issued a brief concurrence noting that he concurs to a portion of Part I and concurs in the judgment.
Justice John Paul Stevens (“J. Stevens”), joined by J. Blackmun, issued a concurrence stating that the petitioner did allege a Sixth Amendment violation, and the Supreme Court should decide that question in his favor, but disagrees that the conviction would be required to be set aside.
Discussion. The Supreme Court decided that an individual may not seek to enforce a new rule of law in federal habeas corpus proceedings if the new rule was announced after the individual’s conviction became final, or if the individual is seeking to establish a wholly new rule or to apply a settled precedent in a novel way that would result in the creation of a new rule. The Supreme Court identified two exceptions: (1) rules prohibiting punishment for “private, primary individual conduct beyond the power of the criminal law-making authority to proscribe”; and (2) rules that are “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.