Appeals Process Criminal Justice

An appeal is a process which assists defendants from wrongful incarceration, (What are Appeal Courts for? 2004). An Appeal if successful allows the higher court to over-turn a lower court’s decision. An appeal is also a defendant’s way of challenging the court’s decision. In the Criminal Justice system, an appeal takes place when an offender “tried in court”, is found guilty, later sentenced or someone who is already convicted and incarcerated may be released from incarceration or a sentence vacated if the prison term has not commenced with a successful appeal.

A sentence can be vacated via an appeal, or reduced even after the sentence has begun. In Federal court, the attorney or offender files a brief(s) in support of their motion 2255 to vacate the sentence. In Europe, they follow a different standard as follows: But it is as well to remember, for example, that while article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights,agreed in November 1950, guarantees you a fair trial, it does not guarantee you a right to appeal against the outcome of that trial. The right of appeal is to be found in article 2 of the Seventh Protocol to the Convention which was only agreed so 34 years later, in November 1984.

So, even in the legal thinking of the modern world, appeals are something of an additional luxury, (What are Appeal Courts for? , 2004). The following are permissible grounds for appeal. (a) The Commission relied on erroneous information, and the actual facts justify a different decision. (b) There was significant information in existence but not known to me at the time of the hearing, and a different decision would have resulted if the information had been presented. (c) The Commission made a procedural error in my case, and a different decision would have resulted if the correct procedure had been followed.

(d) The Commission applied a statute or regulation incorrectly (e. g. , in determining my period of imprisonment as a supervised release violator, and/or my further term of supervised release). (e) The Commission made an error in applying the guidelines (error in offense severity rating, salient factor score, and/or calculating time in custody). (f) A decision outside the guidelines was not supported by the reasons or facts stated in the Notice of Action. (g) There are especially mitigating circumstances in my case which justify a different decision.

If one or more of the above are found to be true, than a summary motion is filed stating the reasons why your appeal should be upheld. Strong supposition should be attached with persuasive language briefly describe the error(s) in which you believe to have occurred, or the specific reason for the Commission to give you a different decision. You do not need to repeat the “ground for appeal” which applies. It would be in the offenders’ best interest to try to list their most important grounds for appeal first. This would be the basis for their thesis statement.

The reasons should compel the court to grant the stay or the release of the offender. Next the attorney or defendant themselves would present the grounds for appeal in the order in which they appear in the brief (summary). On each ground of appeal, a specific format is requested to be filed. First you would state the facts which are relevant in deciding the ground(s) you have identified, and then the reasons why you believe the Commission erred and/or should make a different decision. All reasons must be included at that time. How do appeals factor into the overall criminal procedures and processes?

If a sentence is over-turned and the basis for the higher courts decision is a result of trial court error, this is embarrassing to the criminal justice system, and higher courts. No Judge wants to have their cases over-turned on conviction or have a case retried, because of blatant disrespect of the law. This includes prosecutorial misconduct or blatant error of possibly not turning over evidence which may have exonerated the accused, (Meyer, & Grant, 2003). How can we improve the appeals process? Reduce the paperwork involved to review the applicant.

Allow additional arguments in after the appeal has been filed so egregious errors by an attorney on to their clients are not held against the clients. Today, all arguments must be filed at the same time. Screen out frivolous appeals from offenders who simply seek additional time from their death sentence, although it is in our constitutional rights to file appeals until the appeals process is exhausted. Most people in the public think a Governor can stay an execution. “In Georgia, the state Board of Pardons and Paroles has the authority to stay an execution or grant clemency.

In this case, clemency means the whole or partial cancellation of a punishment connected to a crime”, Valdosta daily times daily staff writer (2011). Include at least one example of a real-world case that went through the appeals process. Explain why this appeal did or did not succeed One true life, real-world case which went through the appeals process seeking an acquittal in Italy is the Amanda Knox case. Amanda Knox’s attorney’s won their clients freedom, after she had spent 48 months in prison, in Italy, (Walker 2012). Many suggested there was a gross incompetence of the Milan Police and the Perugia prosecutor’s office.

[pic] (Walker 2012) [pic] (Church discipline 2010) My feelings back than (when the case was being tried in the media), after the media first was crucifying the American Amanda Knox was that she was probably guilty because that is how the prosecutor presented his case, (Church discipline 2010). Later after the American media got involved, the mass media attention I believe aided in Amanda Knox’s defense when they appeared to have taken her side which came across to me than as an injustice, (ABC News 20/20 2011).

I did not review any evidence, I did not watch the trial or read transcripts, I did analyze the media attention. In watching the news when the case was sensationalized, the media kept running clips how there was just circumstantial evidence and the prosecutor was not doing his job, merely rushing to judgment. Here in America, cases now go to trial with what is merely circumstantial evidence. Offenders are convicted on circumstantial evidence in capital murder cases. A few years back, a male offender was found guilty of capital murder when he was convicted on circumstantial evidence.

Even though the body of his girlfriend was never recovered, the guilt lied on the jurors belief past threats and physical domestic violence was enough to satisfy jurors he most likely caused her disappearance and probable death. Six months to a year later before the trial commenced the defense laid claims that the girl victim had been seen driving through another county by eye witnesses, so his client could not have killed her when the state alleged. In closing an appeal is a petition to a higher court for examination of a case that has already been decided by a lower court of law, (Meyer, & Grant, 2003).

I am not certain the appeals process can be improved based on the current system. I can only imagine, more testing of DNA for better case results, so less appeals will be required. References. ABC News 20/20 (2011) Retrieved from: http://abcnews. go. com/US/amanda-knox-trial-italian-murder-case/story? id=14576338#. T-c1V7V5GSo Church discipline (2010), Amanda Knox, retrieved from: http://church-discipline. blogspot. com/2010/12/amanda-knox. html Meyer, J. F. , & Grant, D. R. (2003). The courts in our criminal justice system. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Mulherin (2012).

Criminal Justice: What Are Intermediate Sanctions. Retrieved from: http://criminal-law. knoji. com/criminal-justice-what-are-intermediate-sanctions/ Valdosta daily times staff writer (2011) What we think, governor cannot stay an execution, Retrieved from: http://valdostadailytimes. com/opinion/x221223438/What-We-Think-Governor-cannot-stay-execution Walker (2012), Amanda Knox, retrieved from: http://www. dailyrecord. co. uk/news/uk-world-news/2012/06/17/cleared-convict-amanda-knox-plans-la-capanne-jail-visit-86908-23897184/ What are Appeal Courts for?. (2004). Otago Law Review, 10(4), 517-536.