Breyana Fleming

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Many people find themselves in the crosshairs of the criminal justice system as defendants. In preparing to defend themselves against the charges being brought by the government, these defendants cannot predict whether the outcome of a criminal proceeding will result in a finding of innocence or guilt. Defendants can, however, generally depend on uniformity in the law as it pertains to appellate procedure. Still, there are times where this uniformity will be sacrificed, and further, when it will be done in an unjust manner. For instance, when an appellate court allows the federal government to maintain an argument against a defendant it never raised on appeal, uniformity in appellate procedure is sacrificed unjustly. In United States v. Campbell, this kind of injustice took place. In this case, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit applied the good-faith reliance exception to an officer's actions of unlawfully prolonging a traffic stop through unrelated inquiry because the officer was relying in good-faith on United States v. Griffin, the binding precedent at the time. Significantly, the court exercised its discretion in hearing the issue despite the government's failure to properly raise the issue in any oral argument, initial brief, or any other supplemental filing to the court. An in-depth analysis of the majority opinion will show, however, that this decision unfairly prejudiced Campbell in order to provide protection to the federal government