Final Project: Appeals Process Paper
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What is an appeal?
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...
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