This brief essay serves two purposes. The first is to make some general observations about criminal appeals. It thus outlines the substantial institutional and doctrinal differences between the appellate process in civil and criminal cases, notes the relative lack of scholarship devoted to the criminal appellate process, and suggests that the role of the judge in criminal cases is undertheorized. The second is to introduce the pieces in a symposium issue of the Marquette Law Review, most of which was presented at a conference held at Marquette University Law School and entitled “Criminal Appeals: Past, Present, and Future.”

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