A state statute required that a defendant make an objection at the time a piece of evidence was offered for submission during trial. Sykes (defendant) failed to comply with this state contemporaneous-objection rule. He claimed that testimony was admitted at trial in violation of rights under Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966). Sykes was convicted at trial. At his appeal, Sykes failed to raise the issue of the admissibility of the statements taken in violation of Miranda. Only after the appeal did he file a motion in the trial court to vacate the conviction because of the inculpatory statements. Sykes also filed petitions for habeas corpus in the state court of appeals and the state supreme court. All of these efforts failed. Sykes petitioned for federal habeas corpus review. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.