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After Jeanie Louise Adair was tried and found innocent in 1999 of her husband’s murder, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge L. Jeffrey Wiatt declared her factually innocent as well, allowing for the sealing or destruction of all records in her case.

But last year, L.A.’s Second District Court of Appeal reversed Wiatt, saying he had exceeded his discretion. The three-judge panel also held that Adair had failed to carry her burden of establishing that there had been no reasonable cause to believe she might have actually committed the crime.

On Tuesday, a majority of the California Supreme Court justices appeared hesitant to let appellate courts, relying on a cold record, second guess the decision of a trial court judge who has seen the witnesses and heard the testimony first hand.

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