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Criminal Law

2009

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

Criminal procedure

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Full-Text Articles in Law

A Fair Trial, Not A Perfect One: The Early Twentieth-Century Campaign For The Harmless Error Rule, Roger Fairfax Jan 2009

A Fair Trial, Not A Perfect One: The Early Twentieth-Century Campaign For The Harmless Error Rule, Roger Fairfax

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

From just after the turn of the twentieth century through World War II, there was a great deal of activity around criminal justice reform. Much like today, many commentators in the early twentieth century considered the American criminal justice system to be broken. With regard to all of its phases-substance, sentencing, and procedure-the criminal justice system was thought to be inefficient and ineffective, and it failed to inspire the confidence of the bench, bar, or public.

Against this backdrop, a group of reformers sought to address the shortcomings of early twentieth-century criminal justice-during what I consider the "Golden Age" of …