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Criminal Law

University of Georgia School of Law

Criminal Law and Procedure

2005

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Causing Constitutional Harm: How Tort Law Can Help Determine Harmless Error In Criminal Trials, Jason M. Solomon May 2005

Causing Constitutional Harm: How Tort Law Can Help Determine Harmless Error In Criminal Trials, Jason M. Solomon

Scholarly Works

This Article proceeds in four parts. Part II is a brief overview of harmless-error doctrine in the context of habeas challenges to state criminal convictions, focusing on the nature of the inquiry and the doctrinal deadlock described above. Part III is an empirical analysis of the post-Brecht cases in the federal courts of appeals. To search for a way out of the doctrinal deadlock, I started with a relatively straightforward question: what has happened to harmless-error analysis since Brecht? To answer this question, I reviewed and, with the help of a research assistant, coded all of the 315 …