Thursday, February 21, 2008

Supreme Court decides that states may apply Crawford retroactively

Last year, in Whorton v. Bockting, the Supreme Court decided that Crawford does not apply retroactively as a matter of federal constitutional law. Yesterday, in Danforth v. Minnesota, 2008 WL 441059, the Court held that states are free to apply broader rules of retroactivity than the constitutionally mandated ones, and so may apply Crawford retroactively. I hope to comment soon on this decision and on Whorton, too. I don't think Danforth will have a major impact. At least in most circumstances in which a state court would be tempted to apply Crawford retroactively, it could reach the same result by giving retroactive application to confrontation rights under the state constitution.