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A Trial Court Can’t Be The Judge Of The Appellate Courts – Trials & Appeals & Compensation


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. . . that’s basically what the Supreme Court of Georgia
said on November 29 in Esposito v. State.

After his federal habeas proceedings were unsuccessful, Esposito
asked for DNA testing as part of his extraordinary motion for new
trial in Superior Court, relying on a Georgia Court of Appeals
decision in his favor. The trial court denied the request for DNA
testing in an order drafted by the Senior Assistant AG, which held
that the Court of Appeals decision was in conflict with the
language of O.C.G.A. 5-5-41 and therefore was “not binding on
the trial court.”

No, you don’t get to do that, said the Supreme Court of
Georgia. When the Court of Appeals has clearly spoken on an issue,
its holding is binding under the Georgia Constitution. See
Ga. Const. Art. VI, Sec. V, Par. III.

The Georgia Supreme Court did not actually address the merits of
the Court of Appeals decision relied on by Esposito. Unfortunately
for him, the Supreme Court affirmed on the basis of the two other
alternative bases for denying the motion and the DNA testing.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
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