N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 178

Wednesday, July 2, 1947 (Morning session)

taken in as part of the Superior Court structure. Now, I don't want any of this to appear in the least personal. The men from Camden south on a voluntary basis said it is all right for first-class counties but not all rights for counties of the lower classes and particularly not for the southern counties. Why, I should not say. I don't want to get into a political by-pass.

MR. BROGAN: I want to ask you this - do you think the ideal structure should be based on the proposition that there should be a complete trial and one appeal?


MR. PETERSON: Except in murder cases.

JUDGE BRENNAN: Not excepting murder cases. I think there should be a complete trial and one appeal.

MR. BROGAN: Would you recommend something in the nature of an appellate division, where we retain the Supreme Court as it now is? I am talking about appellate jurisdiction only as a method of screening out -

JUDGE BRENNAN: I would indeed. In my judgment appeals should be twice heard, even in a capital case. I think I speak with some degree of experience; I think I have had as many as most and more than some. Is there any reason why capital cases should not go to the court of last resort?

MR. BROGAN: That is where they go, they never go to the Supreme Court.


MR. BROGAN: But I only know of one case in the books, and why that went I will never tell you.

MR. SMITH: Would you care to give your views on this? How do you visualize this intermediate appellate court - as a separate and distinct court, as defined, with two appeals?

JUDGE BRENNAN: Yes, certainly there ought not be this mixed grill that you have at present, the Supreme Court being part of the Court of Errors and Appeals.

MR. BROGAN: No, we are at an independent court of appeals. I mean, everybody seems to agree -

JUDGE BRENNAN: And its constituent members would have no part in the Supreme Court. They would be confined entirely to the court of last resort.

MR. SMITH: The appellate judges to be exclusively in that role and not shifted back and forth?

JUDGE BRENNAN: Is that the picture now?

MR. BROGAN: Both theories were advanced, so to speak; one to take an appellate division from the line of trial judges and have them sit on designations for, let us say, two or three years; and the other to have them appointed as such appellate judges and have them remain as such.

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