Tadhg Dooley

Document Type

Supreme Court Commentaries

Publication Date




Subject Category

Constitutional Law | Law


In Whorton v. Bockting, the Supreme Court considered whether its rule from Crawford v. Washington, prohibiting the admission of testimonial hearsay statements without a prior opportunity for the defendant to cross-examine the declarant, should be applied retroactively to cases on collateral appeal under the standard set forth in Teague v. Lane. The determination rested on whether Crawford announced a "new rule" that should be applied retroactively by virtue of its being a "watershed rule of criminal procedure implicating the fundamental fairness and accuracy of the criminal proceeding." In a unanimous decision, the Court held that Crawford did announce a "new rule" of criminal procedure, but that "this rule does not fall within the Teague exception for watershed rules." Therefore, the respondent could not benefit from the Crawford rule in collateral review of his original state court conviction.