The Constitution prohibits the criminal conviction of any person except upon proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In re Winship, 397 U.S. 358. The question in this case is what standard is to be applied in a federal habeas corpus proceeding when the claim is made that a person has been convicted in a state court upon insufficient evidence.
The petitioner was convicted after a bench trial in the Circuit Court of Chesterfield County, Va., of the first-degree murder of a woman named Mary Houston Cole.
That the petitioner had shot and killed Mrs. Cole was not in dispute at the trial. The State's evidence established that
Her body was found in a secluded church parking lot a day and a half later, naked from the waist down, her slacks beneath her body. Uncontradicted medical and expert evidence established that she had been shot twice at close range with the petitioner's gun. She appeared not to have been sexually molested. Six cartridge cases identified as having been fired from the petitioner's gun were found near the body.
After shooting Mrs. Cole, the petitioner drove her car to North Carolina, where, after a short trip to Florida, he was arrested several days later. In a postarrest statement, introduced in evidence by the prosecution, the petitioner admitted that he had shot the victim. He contended, however, that the shooting had been accidental. When asked to describe his condition at the time of the shooting, he indicated that he had not been drunk, but had been "pretty high." His
The trial judge, declaring himself convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the petitioner had committed first-degree murder, found him guilty of that offense.
We granted certiorari to consider the petitioner's claim that under In re Winship, supra, a federal habeas corpus court must
Our inquiry in this case in narrow. The petitioner has not seriously questioned any aspect of Virginia law governing the allocation of the burden of production or persuasion in a murder trial. See Mullaney v. Wilbur, 421 U.S. 684; Patterson v. New York, 432 U.S. 197. As the record demonstrates, the judge sitting as factfinder in the petitioner's trial was aware that the State bore the burden of establishing the element of premeditation, and stated that he was applying the reasonable-doubt standard in his appraisal of the State's evidence. The petitioner, moreover, does not contest the conclusion of the Court of Appeals that under the "no evidence" rule of Thompson v. Louisville, supra, his conviction of first-degree murder is sustainable. And he has not attacked the sufficiency of the evidence to support a conviction of second-degree murder. His sole constitutional claim, based squarely upon Winship, is that the District Court and the Court of Appeals were in error in not recognizing that the question to be decided in this case is whether any rational factfinder could have concluded beyond a reasonable doubt that the killing for which the petitioner was convicted was premeditated. The question thus raised goes to the basic nature of the constitutional right recognized in the Winship opinion.
This is the first of our cases to expressly consider the question whether the due process standard recognized in Winship constitutionally protects an accused against conviction except upon evidence that is sufficient fairly to support a conclusion
It is axiomatic that a conviction upon a charge not made or upon a charge not tried constitutes a denial of due process. Cole v. Arkansas, 333 U.S. 196, 201; Presnell v. Georgia, 439 U.S. 14. These standards no more than reflect a broader premise that has never been doubted in our constitutional system: that a person cannot incur the loss of liberty for an offense without notice and a meaningful opportunity to defend. E. g., Hovey v. Elliott, 167 U.S. 409, 416-420. Cf. Boddie v. Connecticut, 401 U.S. 371, 377-379. A meaningful opportunity to defend, if not the right to a trial itself, presumes as well that a total want of evidence to support a charge will conclude the case in favor of the accused. Accordingly, we held in the Thompson case that a conviction based upon a record wholly devoid of any relevant evidence of a crucial element of the offense charged is constitutionally infirm. See also Vachon v. New Hampshire, 414 U.S. 478; Adderley v. Florida, 385 U.S. 39; Gregory v. Chicago, 394 U.S. 111; Douglas v. Buder, 412 U.S. 430. The "no evidence" doctrine of Thompson v. Louisville thus secures to an accused the most elemental of due process rights: freedom from a wholly arbitrary deprivation of liberty.
The Court in Thompson explicitly stated that the due process right at issue did not concern a question of evidentiary "sufficiency." 362 U. S., at 199. The right established in In re Winship, however, clearly stands on a different footing. Winship involved an adjudication of juvenile delinquency made by a judge under a state statute providing that the prosecution must prove the conduct charged as delinquent— which in Winship would have been a criminal offense if engaged in by an adult—by a preponderance of the evidence.
The constitutional problem addressed in Winship was thus distinct from the stark problem of arbitrariness presented in Thompson v. Louisville. In Winship, the Court held for the first time that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects a defendant in a criminal case against conviction "except upon proof beyond a reasonable doubt of every fact necessary to constitute the crime with which he is charged." 397 U. S., at 364. In so holding, the Court emphasized that proof beyond a reasonable doubt has traditionally been regarded as the decisive difference between criminal culpability and civil liability. Id., at 358-362. See Davis v. United States, 160 U.S. 469; Brinegar v. United States, 338 U.S. 160, 174; Leland v. Oregon, 343 U.S. 790; 9 J. Wigmore, Evidence § 2495, pp. 307-308 (3d ed. 1940). Cf. Woodby v. INS, 385 U.S. 276, 285. The standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, said the Court, "plays a vital role in the American scheme of criminal procedure," because it operates to give "concrete substance" to the presumption of innocence, to ensure against unjust convictions, and to reduce the risk of factual error in a criminal proceeding. 397 U. S., at 363. At the same time, by impressing upon the factfinder the need to reach a subjective state of near certitude of the guilt of the accused, the standard symbolizes the significance that our society attaches to the criminal sanction and thus to liberty itself. Id., at 372 (Harlan, J., concurring).
The constitutional standard recognized in the Winship case was expressly phrased as one that protects an accused against a conviction except on "proof beyond a reasonable doubt . . . ." In subsequent cases discussing the reasonable-doubt standard, we have never departed from this definition of the rule or from
Although several of our cases have intimated that the factfinder's application of the reasonable-doubt standard to the evidence may present a federal question when a state conviction is challenged, Lego v. Twomey, supra, at 487; Johnson v. Louisiana, 406 U.S. 356, 360, the Federal Courts of Appeals have generally assumed that so long as the reasonable-doubt instruction has been given at trial, the no-evidence doctrine of Thompson v. Louisville remains the appropriate guide for a federal habeas corpus court to apply in assessing a state prisoner's challenge to his conviction as founded upon insufficient evidence. See, e. g., Cunha v. Brewer, 511 F.2d 894 (CA8).
The Winship doctrine requires more than simply a trial
A federal court has a duty to assess the historic facts when it is called upon to apply a constitutional standard to a conviction obtained in a state court. For example, on direct review of a state-court conviction, where the claim is made that an involuntary confession was used against the defendant, this Court reviews the facts to determine whether the confession was wrongly admitted in evidence. Blackburn v. Alabama, 361 U.S. 199, 205-210. Cf. Drope v. Missouri, 420 U.S. 162, 174-175, and n. 10. The same duty obtains in federal habeas corpus proceedings. See Townsend v. Sain, 372 U.S. 293, 318; Brown v. Allen, 344 U.S. 443, 506-507 (opinion of Frankfurter, J.).
After Winship the critical inquiry on review of the sufficiency of the evidence to support a criminal conviction must be not simply to determine whether the jury was properly instructed, but to determine whether the record evidence could reasonably support a finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Under 28 U. S. C. § 2254, a federal court must entertain a claim by a state prisoner that he or she is being held in "custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the
In addition to the argument that a Winship standard invites replication of state criminal trials in the guise of § 2254 proceedings—an argument that simply fails to recognize that courts can and regularly do gauge the sufficiency of the evidence without intruding into any legitimate domain of the trier of fact—the respondents have urged that any departure from the Thompson test in federal habeas corpus proceedings will expand the number of meritless claims brought to the federal courts, will duplicate the work of the state appellate courts, will disserve the societal interest in the finality of state criminal proceedings, and will increase friction between the federal and state judiciaries. In sum, counsel for the State urges that this type of constitutional claim should be deemed to fall within the limit on federal habeas corpus jurisdiction identified in Stone v. Powell, 428 U.S. 465, with respect to Fourth Amendment claims. We disagree.
First, the burden that is likely to follow from acceptance of the Winship standard has, we think, been exaggerated. Federal-court challenges to the evidentiary support for state convictions have since Thompson been dealt with under § 2254. E. g., Freeman v. Stone, 444 F.2d 113 (CA9); Grieco v.
Second, the problems of finality and federal-state comity arise whenever a state prisoner invokes the jurisdiction of a federal court to redress an alleged constitutional violation. A challenge to a state conviction brought on the ground that the evidence cannot fairly be deemed sufficient to have established guilt beyond a reasonable doubt states a federal constitutional claim. Although state appellate review undoubtedly will serve in the vast majority of cases to vindicate the due process protection that follows from Winship, the same could also be said of the vast majority of other federal constitutional rights that may be implicated in a state criminal trial. It is the occasional abuse that the federal writ of habeas corpus stands ready to correct. Brown v. Allen, supra, at 498-501 (opinion of Frankfurter, J.).
The constitutional issue presented in this case is far different from the kind of issue that was the subject of the Court's decision in Stone v. Powell, supra. The question whether a defendant has been convicted upon inadequate evidence is central to the basic question of guilt or innocence. The constitutional necessity of proof beyond a reasonable doubt is not confined to those defendants who are morally blameless. E. g., Mullaney v. Wilbur, 421 U. S., at 697-698 (requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt is not "limit[ed] to those facts which, if not proved, would wholly exonerate" the accused). Under our system of criminal justice even a thief
We hold that in a challenge to a state criminal conviction brought under 28 U. S. C. § 2254—if the settled procedural prerequisites for such a claim have otherwise been satisfied— the applicant is entitled to habeas corpus relief if it is found that upon the record evidence adduced at the trial no rational trier of fact could have found proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Turning finally to the specific facts of this case, we reject the petitioner's claim that under the constitutional standard dictated by Winship his conviction of first-degree murder cannot stand. A review of the record in the light most favorable to the prosecution convinces us that a rational factfinder could readily have found the petitioner guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of first-degree murder under Virginia law.
There was no question at the trial that the petitioner had fatally shot Mary Cole. The crucial factual dispute went to the sufficiency of the evidence to support a finding that he had specifically intended to kill her. This question, as the Court of Appeals recognized, must be gauged in the light of applicable Virginia law defining the element of premeditation. Under that law it is well settled that premeditation need not exist for any particular length of time, and that an intent to kill may be formed at the moment of the commission of the unlawful act. Commonwealth v. Brown, 90 Va. 671, 19 S. E. 447. From the circumstantial evidence in the record, it is
The prosecution's uncontradicted evidence established that the petitioner shot the victim not once but twice. The petitioner himself admitted that the fatal shooting had occurred only after he had first fired several shots into the ground and then reloaded his gun. The evidence was clear that the two shots that killed the victim were fired at close, and thus predictably fatal, range by a person who was experienced in the use of the murder weapon. Immediately after the shooting, the petitioner drove without mishap from Virginia to North Carolina, a fact quite at odds with his story of extreme intoxication. Shortly before the fatal episode, he had publicly expressed an intention to have sexual relations with the victim. Her body was found partially unclothed. From these uncontradicted circumstances, a rational factfinder readily could have inferred beyond a reasonable doubt that the petitioner, notwithstanding evidence that he had been drinking on the day of the killing, did have the capacity to form and had in fact formed an intent to kill the victim.
The petitioner's calculated behavior both before and after the killing demonstrated that he was fully capable of committing premeditated murder. His claim of self-defense would have required the trial judge to draw a series of improbable inferences from the basic facts, prime among them the inference that he was wholly uninterested in sexual activity with the victim but that she was so interested as to have willingly removed part of her clothing and then attacked him with a knife when he resisted her advances, even though he was armed with a loaded revolver that he had just demonstrated he knew how to use. It is evident from the record that the trial judge found this story, including the petitioner's belated contention that he had been so intoxicated as to be incapable of premeditation, incredible.
For these reasons, the judgment of the Court of Appeals is affirmed.
It is so ordered.
MR. JUSTICE POWELL took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.
MR. JUSTICE STEVENS, with whom THE CHIEF JUSTICE and MR. JUSTICE REHNQUIST join, concurring in the judgment.
The Constitution prohibits the criminal conviction of any person except upon proof sufficient to convince the trier of fact of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Cf. ante, at 309. This rule has prevailed in our courts "at least from our early years as a Nation." In re Winship, 397 U.S. 358, 361.
Today the Court creates a new rule of law—one that has never prevailed in our jurisprudence. According to the Court, the Constitution now prohibits the criminal conviction of any person—including, apparently, a person against whom the facts have already been found beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury, a trial judge, and one or more levels of state appellate judges—except upon proof sufficient to convince a federal
The adoption of this novel constitutional rule is not necessary to the decision of this case. Moreover, I believe it is an unwise act of lawmaking. Despite its chimerical appeal as a new counterpart to the venerable principle recognized in Winship, I am persuaded that its precipitous adoption will adversely affect the quality of justice administered by federal judges. For that reason I shall analyze this new brainchild with some care.
I shall begin by explaining why neither the record in this case, nor general experience with challenges to the sufficiency of the evidence supporting criminal convictions, supports, much less compels, the conclusion that there is any need for this new constitutional precept. I shall next show that it is not logically compelled by either the holding or the analysis in In re Winship, supra. Finally, I shall try to demonstrate why the Court's new rule—if it is not just a meaningless shibboleth—threatens serious harm to the quality of our judicial system.
It is, of course, part of this Court's tradition that new rules of law emerge from the process of case-by-case adjudication of constitutional issues. Widespread concern that existing constitutional doctrine is unjust often provides the occasion, and is sometimes even relied upon as a justification, for the exercise of such lawmaking authority by the Court. Without entering the debate over the legitimacy of this justification for judicial action, it is at least certain that it should not be the basis for dramatic—indeed, for any—constitutional law-making efforts unless (1) those efforts are necessary to the decision of the case at hand and (2) powerful reasons favor a change in the law. See Ashwander v. TVA, 297 U.S. 288, 345-348 (Brandeis, J., concurring).
Most significantly, the Court has announced its new constitutional edict in a case in which it has absolutely no bearing on the outcome. The only factual issue at stake is whether petitioner intended to kill his victim. If the evidence is viewed "in the light most favorable to the prosecution," ante, at 319— and, indeed, we may view it through the eyes of the actual factfinder, whose observations about the evidence are recorded in the trial transcript—there can be only one answer to that question no matter what standard of appellate review is applied. In Part IV of its opinion, the Court accepts this conclusion. There is, therefore, no need to fashion a broad new rule of constitutional law to dispose of this squalid but rather routine murder case. Under any view, the evidence is sufficient.
The Court's new rule is adopted simply to forestall some hypothetical evil that has not been demonstrated, and in my view is not fairly demonstrable. Although the Judiciary has received its share of criticism—principally because of the delays and costs associated with litigation—I am aware of no general dissatisfaction with the accuracy of the factfinding process or the adequacy of the rules applied by state appellate courts when reviewing claims of insufficiency.
What little evidence the Court marshals in favor of a contrary conclusion is unconvincing. See ante, at 317-318, n. 10. The Court is simply incorrect in implying that there are a significant number of occasions when federal convictions are
Moreover, a study of the 127 federal criminal convictions that were reviewed by the various Courts of Appeals and reported in the most recent hardbound volume of the Federal Reporter, Second Series, Volume 589, reveals that only 3 were overturned on sufficiency grounds. And of those, one was overturned under a "no evidence" standard, while the other two, in which a total of only 3 out of 36 counts were actually reversed, arguably involved legal issues masquerading as sufficiency questions.
There is nothing in the facts of this case or, so far as the Court has demonstrated, in those of cases like it to warrant today's excursion into constitutional rulemaking. The Court instead portrays its rule as the logical corollary of the principle recognized in Winship regarding the subjective state of mind that persons charged with the responsibility of evaluating the credibility of evidence must possess before they find the defendant guilty in a criminal case. But an examination of Winship reveals that it has nothing to do with appellate, much less habeas corpus, review standards; that the reasoning used in that case to reach its conclusion with respect to the trier of fact does not support, and indeed counsels against, the Court's conclusion with respect to federal habeas judges; and that there is no necessary connection between the rule recognized in Winship and the rule invented by the Court today.
In distinct contrast to the circumstances of this case, the facts of Winship presented "a case where the choice of the standard of proof has made a difference: the [trial] judge below forthrightly acknowledged that he believed by a preponderance of the evidence [in], but was not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt" of, the juvenile's guilt. 397 U. S., at 369 (Harlan, J., concurring). Because the trier of fact entertained such a doubt, this Court held that the juvenile was constitutionally entitled to the same verdict that an adult defendant in a criminal case would receive. In so holding, the Court merely extended to juveniles a protection that had traditionally been available to defendants in criminal trials in this Nation. Id., at 361.
But nothing in the Winship opinion suggests that it also
Moreover, the mode of analysis employed in Winship finds no counterpart in the Court's opinion in this case. For example, in Winship, the Court pointed out the breadth of both the historical and the current acceptance of the reasonable-doubt trial standard.
The Winship court relied on nine prior opinions of this Court that bore directly on the issue presented. 397 U. S., at 362. Here, the Court purportedly relies on two prior decisions, but as is pointed out, supra, at 329, neither of these cases itself applied a "reasonable doubt" appellate standard to overturn a conviction, neither purported to be interpreting the Constitution, and neither expressed any view whatsoever on the appropriate standard in collateral proceedings such as are involved in this case.
The primary reasoning of the Court in Winship is also inapplicable here. The Court noted in that case that the reasonable-doubt standard has the desirable effect of significantly reducing the risk of an inaccurate factfinding and thus of erroneous convictions, as well as of instilling confidence in the criminal justice system. 397 U. S., at 363-364. See also id., at 370-372 (Harlan, J., concurring). In this case, however, it would be impossible (and the Court does not even try) to demonstrate that there is an appreciable risk that a factfinding made by a jury beyond a reasonable doubt, and twice reviewed by a trial judge in ruling on directed verdict and post-trial acquittal motions and by one or more levels of appellate courts on direct appeal, as well as by two federal habeas courts under the Thompson "no evidence" rule, is likely to be erroneous.
But, taken to its ultimate conclusion, this "logic" would require the reviewing court to "ask itself whether it believes that the evidence at the trial established guilt beyond a reasonable doubt." Woodby v. INS, 385 U.S. 276, 282 (emphasis added). The Court, however, rejects this standard, as well as others that might be considered consistent with Winship. For example, it does not require the reviewing court to view just the evidence most favorable to the prosecution and then to decide whether that evidence convinced it beyond a reasonable doubt, nor whether, based on the entire record, rational triers of fact could be convinced of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Instead, and without explanation, it chooses a still narrower standard that merely asks whether, "after viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt." Ante, at 319.
Time may prove that the rule the Court has adopted today is the wisest compromise between one extreme that maximizes the protection against the risk that innocent persons will be erroneously convicted and the other extreme that places the greatest faith in the ability of fair procedures to produce just verdicts. But the Court's opinion should not obscure the fact that its new rule is not logically compelled by the analysis or the holding in Winship or in any other precedent, or the fact that the rule reflects a new policy choice rather than the application of a pre-existing rule of law.
The Court cautions against exaggerating the significance of its new rule. Ante, at 321. It is true that in practice there may be little or no difference between a record that does not contain at least some evidence tending to prove every element of an offense and a record containing so little evidence that no rational factfinder could be persuaded of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Moreover, I think the Court is quite correct when it acknowledges that "most meritorious challenges to constitutional sufficiency of the evidence undoubtedly will be recognized in the state courts." Ante, at 322. But this only means that the new rule will seldom, if ever, provide a convicted state prisoner with any tangible benefits. It does not mean that the rule will have no impact on the administration of justice. On the contrary, I am persuaded that it will be seriously harmful both to the state and federal judiciaries.
For these reasons, I am unable to join the Court's gratuitous directive to our colleagues on the federal bench.
"Murder other than capital murder, by poison, lying in wait, imprisonment, starving, or by any willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing, or in the commission of, or attempt to commit, arson, rape, robbery, burglary or abduction . . . is murder of the first degree, punishable as a Class 2 felony.
"All murder other than capital murder and murder in the first degree is murder of the second degree and is punishable as a Class 3 felony."
Class 2 felonies carry a term of 20 years to life. § 18.2-10 (b) (1975). The sentence for Class 3 felonies can range from 5 to 20 years, § 18.2-10 (c). Murder itself takes its definition in Virginia from the common law. Stapleton v. Commonwealth, 123 Va. 825, 96 S. E. 801.
The petition for writ of error alleged that "the trial Court erred in finding the Petitioner guilty of first-degree murder in light of the evidence introduced on behalf of the Commonwealth, and on unwarranted inferences drawn from this evidence." The petitioner contended that an affirmance would violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In its order denying Jackson's petition, the Virginia Supreme Court stated it was "of [the] opinion that there is no reversible error in the judgment complained of . . . ." Virginia law requires sufficiency claims to be raised on direct appeal; such a claim may not be raised in a state habeas corpus proceeding. Pettus v. Peyton, 207 Va. 906, 153 S.E.2d 278.
MR. JUSTICE POWELL took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.
In United States v. Whetzel, 191 U. S. App. D. C. 184, 589 F.2d 707 (1978), the court overturned 2 of the 35 counts of appellant's conviction because "the Government failed to offer proof that would permit a jury to reasonably infer that the merchandise [appellant] transported had a value of $5,000." Id., at 188, 589 F. 2d, at 711. However, the basis for this determination was that the Government's valuation method, which the trial court allowed the jury to consider, was legally erroneous. Similarly, in United States v. Fearn, 589 F.2d 1316 (CA7 1978), the court overturned the conviction based on a federal nonconstitutional rule, which surely would not apply in habeas review of state convictions, "that a conviction must rest upon firmer ground than the uncorroborated admission or confession of the accused." Id., at 1321. The court did not independently analyze whether the uncorroborated confession involved in that case could itself have allowed a rational trier of fact to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Later on the same page, the Court added:
"It is also important in our free society that every individual going about his ordinary affairs have confidence that his government cannot adjudge him guilty of a criminal offense without convincing a proper factfinder of his guilt with utmost certainty." Ibid. (emphasis added.)
See also id., at 370 (Harlan, J., concurring) ("[A] standard of proof represents an attempt to instruct the factfinder concerning the degree of confidence our society thinks he should have in the correctness of factual conclusions for a particular type of adjudication") (emphasis added).
This Court's workload will also increase, of course, when its certiorari docket expands to accommodate the challenges generated by the Court's new rule. The effect will be even greater if the Court's opinion is read to require state appellate courts to apply the reasonable-doubt test on direct review and to require this Court to apply it when reviewing the decisions of those courts on certiorari.
"[I]f a criminal judgment is ever to be final, the notion of legality must at some point include the assignment of final competences to determine legality. But, it may be asked, why should we seek a point at which such a judgment becomes final? Conceding that no process can assure ultimate truth, will not repetition of inquiry stand a better chance of approximating it? In view of the awesomeness of the consequences of conviction, shouldn't we allow redetermination of the merits in an attempt to make sure that no error has occurred?
"Surely the answer runs, in the first place, in terms of conservation of resources—and I mean not only simple economic resources, but all of the intellectual, moral, and political resources involved in the legal system. The presumption must be, it seems to me, that if a job can be well done once, it should not be done twice. If one set of institutions is as capable of performing the task at hand as another, we should not ask both to do it. The challenge really runs the other way: if a proceeding is held to determine the facts and law in a case, and the processes used in that proceeding are fitted to the task in a manner not inferior to those which would be used in a second proceeding, so that one cannot demonstrate that relitigation would not merely consist of repetition and second-guessing, why should not the first proceeding `count'? Why should we duplicate effort? After all, it is the very purpose of the first go-around to decide the case. Neither it nor any subsequent go-around can assure ultimate truth. If, then, the previous determination is to be ignored, we must have some reasoned institutional justification why this should be so.
"Mere iteration of process can do other kinds of damage. I could imagine nothing more subversive of a judge's sense of responsibility, of the inner subjective conscientiousness which is so essential a part of the difficult and subtle art of judging well, than an indiscriminate acceptance of the notion that all the shots will always be called by someone else. Of course this does not mean that we should not have appeals. As we shall see, important functional and ethical purposes are served by allowing recourse to an appellate court in a unitary system, and to a federal supreme court in a federal system. The acute question is the effect it will have on a trial judge if we then allow still further recourse where these purposes may no longer be relevant. What seems so objectionable is second-guessing merely for the sake of second-guessing, in the service of the illusory notion that if we only try hard enough we will find the `truth.'" Bator, Finality in Criminal Law and Federal Habeas Corpus for State Prisoners, 76 Harv. L. Rev. 441, 450-451 (1963).
See also F. James, Civil Procedure 518 (1965).
"I found it not to be a rewarding experience any longer. Whether it was because there was no more excitement after the 1960's or whether it was because the case load changed, but the work load was oppressive. I would not have minded the work load, but the character of the cases changed. It was almost like serving on a criminal court. I did not want to do that any longer." Hearings on the Prospective Nomination of Griffin B. Bell, of Georgia, to be Attorney General, before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, 95th Cong., 1st Sess., 27 (1977).