Nonretroactivity Principle Law and Legal Definition
Nonretroactivity principle also known as new rule principle is a rule of criminal procedure, which bars federal courts from granting habeas corpus relief to a state prisoner because of a rule, not dictated by existing precedent, announced after the prisoner's conviction and sentence became final. However there are two exceptions to this rule. The first exception permits the retroactive application of a new rule if the rule places a class of private conduct beyond the power of the state to proscribe. The second exception to this general principle is for watershed rules of criminal procedure that implicate the fundamental fairness and accuracy of the criminal proceeding. The principle was introduced in the case, Teague v. Lane, 489 U.S. 288 (U.S. 1989).