from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, William P.
Graves appeals from the dismissal of his application for
M. Northfield, Urbandale, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Louis S. Sloven, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Bower, JJ.
DANILSON, Chief Judge.
Graves appeals from the dismissal of his third application
for postconviction relief (PCR), arguing the district court
improperly granted summary judgment to the State. Finding no
error in the dismissal of the application, we affirm.
appeal from the denial of Graves's first PCR application,
this court rejected Graves's argument that "his
trial, appellate, and postconviction counsel rendered
ineffective assistance for failing to object to the felony
murder and willful injury jury instructions." Graves
v. State, No. 06-0369, 2007 WL 1484512, at *3 (Iowa Ct.
App. May 23, 2007). We observed,
Graves's argument is based on the application of
State v. Heemstra, 721 N.W.2d 549, 558 (Iowa 2006),
to his case. That case, however, was decided after
Graves's trial and direct appeal. Until
Heemstra, the instructions given at Graves's
trial were commensurate with the law. See Heemstra,
721 N.W.2d at 557-58. His counsel had no duty to anticipate
the change. See State v. Liddell, 672 N.W.2d 805,
814 (Iowa 2003).
Furthermore, according to Heemstra,
The rule of law announced in this case regarding the use of
willful injury as a predicate felony for felony-murder
purposes shall be applicable only to the present case and
those cases not finally resolved on direct appeal in which
the issue has been raised in the district court.
Graves relies on Teague v. Lane, 489 U.S. 288,
299-300 (1989), for the proposition that "once a new
[constitutional rule of criminal procedure] is applied to the
defendant in the case announcing the rule, evenhanded justice
requires that it be applied retroactively to all who are
similarly situated." Graves's argument is
inapposite. We need not reach the question of retroactivity
Graves urges because Heemstra did not announce a new
constitutional rule of criminal procedure. Instead, the case
interpreted a state statute. The Supreme Court cannot
construe a state statute, whether it is procedural or
substantive in nature, differently from the construction