Goeke v. Branch, 514 U.S. 115, 6 (1995) (per curiam)

Page:   Index   Previous  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  Next



Per Curiam

counsel. The Court did not hold, as respondent argues and the Eighth Circuit seemed to conclude, that due process requires state courts to provide for appellate review where the would-be appellant has not satisfied reasonable preconditions on her right to appeal as a result of her own conduct. Evitts turned on the right to effective assistance of counsel; it left intact "the States' ability to conduct appeals in accordance with reasonable procedural rules." Id., at 398-399.

Branch argues that even if Teague does apply, the rule announced by the Eighth Circuit falls into Teague's exception for " 'watershed rules of criminal procedure' implicating the fundamental fairness and accuracy of the criminal proceeding." Saffle v. Parks, supra, at 495 (citing Teague, supra, at 311). The new rule here is not among the "small core of rules requiring observance of those procedures that . . . are 'implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.' " Graham, supra, at 478 (some internal quotation marks omitted; citations omitted). Because due process does not require a State to provide appellate process at all, Evitts, supra, at 393; McKane v. Durston, 153 U. S. 684, 687 (1894), a former fugitive's right to appeal cannot be said to " 'be so central to an accurate determination of innocence or guilt,' " Graham, supra, at 478 (quoting Teague, supra, at 313), as to fall within this exception to the Teague bar.

As we explained in Allen v. Georgia, supra, at 140, where the Court upheld against constitutional attack the dismissal of the petition of a fugitive whose appeal was pending, "if the Supreme Court of a State has acted in consonance with the constitutional laws of a State and its own procedure, it could only be in very exceptional circumstances that this court would feel justified in saying that there had been a failure of due legal process. We might ourselves have pursued a different course in this case, but that is not the test." The Eighth Circuit converted a rule for the administration of the federal courts into a constitutional one. We do not (and we may not, in the face of the State's invocation of

Page:   Index   Previous  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  Next

Last modified: October 4, 2007