The ''Plain Error'' Rule In Georgia
Can a Reversal of Conviction Be Refused Under the Fedral Plain Error Rule If There Is Overwhelming Evidence of Guilt ?
In Almond v. State, 180 Ga. App. 475, 478-481 (349 S.E.2d 482) (1986), the Court found that a violation of the attorney- client privilege was "plain error" which seriously affected the fairness, integrity, or public reputation of the proceedings and required reversal even in the absence of any objection. Almond, 180 Ga. App. at 480-481.
However, despite the erroneous breach of the attorney-client privilege in the present case, we decline to reverse the conviction under the "plain error" rule.
Because there was overwhelming evidence of Thorne's guilt, we find no basis for concluding that the error seriously affected the fairness, integrity, or public reputation of the proceedings and find no grave miscarriage of justice in refusing to notice the forfeited error. See Johnson v. United States, 520 U.S. 461, 470 (117 S. Ct. 1544, 137 L. Ed. 2d 718) (1997) (refusing to reverse under the federal "plain error" rule where there was overwhelming evidence of guilt).
"Indeed, it would be the reversal of a conviction such as this which would have that effect." Id.