Effects of Judicial Decisions

Fundamental Cases on the Fourth Amendment by Adam J. McKee

Under the system of law in the United States, a person has no guarantee of a perfect trial.  The only guarantee is that it be substantially correct.  A miscarriage of justice occurs only if, based on the entire record, the appellate court concludes that it is probable that a result more favorable to the defendant would have been reached if an error had not occurred.  Errors at the trial level that prevent the defendant from presenting his or her side of the case are normally reversible.  This is logical since there is no way to know if an absent defense resulted in a miscarriage of justice.

When an appellate court reverses the decision of a lower court, the case is returned to the lower court for further consideration.  Members of the courtroom workgroup must decide whether to begin the trial again or to dismiss it.  Cases sent back to the trial level for further proceedings are said to have been remanded.  In some instances, such as when it has been determined that the trial court lacked jurisdiction in the case, will not result in a remand.  In rare instances, the appellate court will completely dismiss the case.

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Modification History

File Created: 07/30/2018
Last Modified:  08/10/2018


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