Many decisions regarding all types of civil cases by state or federal trial court gets reviewed by an appeal court. This includes all type of appeals irrespective given by single judge’s order or a final judgement given by jury. The appeal court reviews the proceedings to find out for any error of laws made by state or federal trial court.
In case appeal court finds any error in judgement by trial’s court decision then it has the right to reverse that decision
However, there is a difference between trial and an appeal. The trial court has a single judge, whereas an appeal gets heard by several judges at the same time.
That party who loses in state appeal court, may appeal to the supreme court of the state.
In the era of transparency, it makes little sense that verdict gets delivered by people whose reasoning towards judgement is not very clear
Case 1: Trial of Simon Gittany
A high-profile defendant was accused for murder charge. He was declared guilty by the trial court judge Lucy McCallum of New South Wales, for his fiancée murder. This judgement was given by a single judge. Later it was challenged in appeal court by the defendant and the judgement by single judge got dismissed
Case 2: United States V.Jones (2012 case):
This case of US supreme court, which held that installation of GPS(Global Positioning System), a device for tracking a vehicle and monitoring its movement comes under the purview of “Fourth Amendment” of US
Jones, the defendant was suspected of drug trafficking in 2004.Investigating police, without a valid warrant, installed a GPS tracking device to the under surface of defendant’s vehicle. And this exceeded the warrant scope in both geography and time length.
The judges of supreme court unanimously voted that, this was a ‘search’ which came under fourth Amendment. Majority of people from police department were held for installing a GPS device under the car of the defendant. Court order pronounced that police has committed a ‘trespass’ against the defendant’s ‘personal effects’. This was an attempt to take some personal information of the defendant
On 23rd January,2012, the Supreme court held that installation of tracking device on defendant`s vehicle for monitoring the movement constitutes a �search’ under the `Fourth Amendment law’. This was wrongly interpreted by some of the news agencies in USA
Unanimously all nine judges considered the action of the police as unconstitutional. However at last they reached the same result . Lastly judges were of three different opinion with respect to the breath of their judgement.
In this case, the Court decided that whereas the Government’s installation of device onto the Jones car was a trespass purposely to obtain some information it comes under the search of `Fourth Amendment.’
The Supreme Court declined for examining and said if any exception is there that would render the search “reasonable”, as the Government failed to present alternate theory in the lower courts.
There are many instances where the judgements given by a single judge or lower court was declared invalid due to one or more reasons, so it is essential that judgement should be given by team of judges. It is imperative now that single bench judge should be reviewed and appropriate changes should get implemented.