OCTOBER TERM, 2007
NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is
being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued.
The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been
prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader.
See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U. S. 321, 337.
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
DANFORTH v. MINNESOTA
CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF MINNESOTA
No. 06–8273. Argued October 31, 2007—Decided February 20, 2008
After this Court announced a “new rule” for evaluating the reliability of
testimonial statements in criminal cases, see Crawford v. Washing-
ton, 541 U. S. 36, 68–69, petitioner sought state postconviction relief,
arguing that he was entitled to a new trial because admitting the vic-
tim’s taped interview at his trial violated Crawford’s rule. The Min-
nesota trial and appeals courts concluded that Crawford did not ap-
ply retroactively under Teague v. Lane, 489 U. S. 288. The State
Supreme Court agreed, and also concluded that state courts are not
free to give a decision of this Court announcing a new constitutional
rule of criminal procedure broader retroactive application than that
given by this Court.
Held: Teague does not constrain the authority of state courts to give
broader effect to new rules of criminal procedure than is required by
that opinion. Pp. 4–27.
(a) Crawford announced a “new rule”—as defined by Teague—
because its result “was not dictated by precedent existing at the time
the defendant’s conviction became final,” Teague, 489 U. S., at 301
(plurality opinion). It was not, however, a rule “of [this Court’s] own
devising” or the product of its own views about sound policy, Craw-
ford, 541 U. S., at 67. Pp. 4–6.
(b) The Court first adopted a “retroactivity” standard in Linkletter
v. Walker, 381 U. S. 618, 629, but later rejected that standard for
cases pending on direct review, Griffith v. Kentu