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BEARD, SECRETARY, PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, et al. v. BANKS, 542 U.S. 406

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BEARD, SECRETARY, PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, et al. v. BANKS

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT

No. 02-1603. Argued February 24, 2004--Decided June 24, 2004

After respondent's murder conviction and death sentence were upheld by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, this Court decided Mills v. Maryland, 486 U. S. 367, and McKoy v. North Carolina, 494 U. S. 433, in which it held invalid capital sentencing schemes requiring juries to disregard mitigating factors not found unanimously. After respondent's state postconviction Mills claim was rejected by the State Supreme Court on the merits, he turned to the federal courts. Ultimately, the Third Circuit applied the analytical framework set forth in Teague v. Lane, 489 U. S. 288, under which federal habeas petitioners may not avail themselves of new rules of constitutional criminal procedure outside two narrow exceptions; concluded that Mills did not announce a new rule and therefore could be applied retroactively; and granted respondent relief.

Held: Because Mills announced a new rule of constitutional criminal procedure that does not fall within either Teague exception, its rule cannot be applied retroactively. Pp. 4-14.


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