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Selecting Proper Mode of Review

Title 28 U.S.C.S. § 1257(a) authorizes the United States Supreme Court to review final judgments or decrees rendered by the highest court of a state in which a decision could be had where any title, right, privilege, or immunity is specially set up or claimed under the Constitution.  Generally, finality is defined by a judgment of conviction and the imposition of a sentence in a criminal prosecution.  However, the Supreme Court has not interpreted the finality rule so strictly in practice.  Although there were further proceedings to take place in the state court, the Supreme Court has treated state-court judgments as final for jurisdictional purposes in certain circumstances.[i]


[i] Florida v. Thomas, 532 U.S. 774 (U.S. 2001)

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