harmless error doctrine

harmless error doctrine
The doctrine that minor or harmless errors during a trial do not require reversal of the judgment by an appellate court. An error which is trivial or formal or merely academic and was not prejudicial to the substantial rights of the party assigning it, and in no way affected the final outcome of the case. State v. Johnson, 1 Wash.App. 553, 463 P.2d 205, 206.
An error is "harmless" if reviewing court, after viewing entire record, determines that no substantial rights of defendant were affected and that error did not influence or had only very slight influence on verdict. U.S. v. McCrady, C.A.Minn., 774 F.2d 868, 874.
Doctrine which permits an appellate court to affirm a conviction in spite of such type error appearing in the record. State v. Michelli, La., 301 So.2d 577, 579.
Harmless error is not a ground for granting a new trial or for setting aside a verdict or for vacating, modifying or otherwise disturbing a judgment or order, unless such refusal appears to the court inconsistent with substantial justice. Fed.R.Civil P. 61. Any error, defect, irregularity or variance which does not affect substantial rights will be disregarded by court. Fed.R. Crim.P. 7(c), 52.
See also error

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

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