Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Federal courts lack authority to review state court retroactivity decisions

In Warren v. Kyler, No. 03-2190 (Sept. 7, 2005), the Third Circuit concluded that it lacked the authority to apply a new state court decision retroactively in a federal habeas proceeding where the state court had already declined to give retroactive effect to the case. The Court noted that nothing in the United States constitution requires retroactive application of state court decisions on criminal matters and, thus, the state courts are free to determine the retroactivity of their own jurisprudence.

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