State v. Blair

In State v. Blair, 158 W.Va. 647, 659, 214 S.E.2d 330, 337 (1975), the Court noted that "the doctrine of harmless error is firmly established by statute, court rule and decisions as a salutary aspect of the criminal law of this State. In a constitutional context, the doctrine is also applied because appellate courts are not bound to reverse for a technical violation of a fundamental right." In Syllabus Point 5 of Blair, we further held, "failure to observe a constitutional right constitutes reversible error unless it can be shown that the error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt." Id.