In reading over 900 cases in criminal law and criminal procedure during the survey period, the fact that courts find the time to carefully analyze the allegations of error in each case is striking. The difference in the quality of the courts' work is especially striking when compared to the courts of twenty years ago.
Several themes emerge after reading these cases. The first theme is the number of specious arguments raised on appeal. This is due, in large part, to the Georgia Supreme Court's opinion in Huguley v. State in which the court disapproved Anders motions and forced attorneys to raise arguments on appeal no matter how specious. The second theme is the number of cases courts disposed of without deciding the merits because the claims were waived by failure to raise them at the trial level. Waiver of claims is tied to ineffective assistance of counsel claims, which are given all too short a shrift by appellate courts. The third theme is a determination of harmless error, which leaves the convicted appellant without a remedy even in cases of clear error in the trial process.
Cole, John O. and Cole, Bonnie K.
"Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure,"
Mercer Law Review: Vol. 55:
1, Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.mercer.edu/jour_mlr/vol55/iss1/6