News Roundup

“Big brother invasion of privacy or pro-active policing? That’s the question after a new report revealed seven North Carolina universities use or have used powerful social media-monitoring programs to keep an eye on everything from campus protests to student well-being to drugs.” So begins this WRAL story about Social Sentinel, a product used by some campus police departments to track student social media posts that may indicate potential unrest or criminal activity. Duke, UNC, and NC State are among the institutions named in the story. The reporter who led the investigation is a former UNC student who became interested in the topic during the Silent Sam protests on campus. Keep reading for more news. Continue reading

Category: Uncategorized | Tags:

Case Summaries – N.C. Court of Appeals (Sept. 20, 2022)

This post summarizes the published criminal opinions from the North Carolina Court of Appeals released on September 20, 2022. This summary will be added to Smith’s Criminal Case Compendium, a free and searchable database of case summaries from 2008 to the present.

Continue reading

blank

Case Summaries: Fourth Circuit of Appeals (August 2022)

This post summarizes criminal and related decisions published by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals during August 2022. Cases of interest to state practitioners are summarized monthly. Previous Fourth Circuit case summaries are available here. Continue reading

Category: Uncategorized

Asking for Consent to Search During a Traffic Stop

Suppose an officer conducts a traffic stop. During the stop, the officer gets a hunch that the driver may have drugs in the car. Can the officer ask the driver for consent to search the car? Even without reasonable suspicion? Does the time it takes to ask for consent, or the time it takes to conduct the search, unlawfully extend the stop? I’ll try to answer these important questions in this post. Continue reading

News Roundup

“An Iowa teenage sex trafficking victim who stabbed her rapist to death was sentenced by a judge on Tuesday to five years of closely supervised probation and must pay $150,000 restitution to her abuser’s family.” So reports Fox News here. The teen was a 15-year-old runaway when she began being trafficked for sex. She was allegedly forced at knifepoint to have sex with the man she killed. He fell asleep after the rape, then she stabbed him 37 times. She was charged with first-degree murder but pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter. The judge noted that the restitution payment was mandatory under state law. CNN has this follow-up story, which says that the teen “is just one of several teenagers – often of color – who have been legally penalized or convicted of killing their sex trafficker or assaulter in recent years in the US.” It also notes that a GoFundMe campaign has raised over $388,000 for the young woman in question. Continue reading

Category: Uncategorized | Tags:

Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta Affords Concurrent Jurisdiction to States for Crimes Against Indians in Indian Country

A few years ago, I wrote this post analyzing criminal jurisdiction on the Qualla Boundary in Western North Carolina.  I explained the jurisdictional rules for prosecuting crimes committed on the Qualla Boundary, or Eastern Cherokee Indian Reservation, as follows:

State jurisdiction.

North Carolina has exclusive jurisdiction over a non-Indian who commits a crime defined by state law against another non-Indian on the Qualla Boundary.

North Carolina has exclusive jurisdiction over a non-Indian who commits a victimless crime defined by state law on the Qualla Boundary.

Federal jurisdiction.

The federal government has exclusive jurisdiction over “major crimes” committed by Indians on the Qualla Boundary.

The federal government has exclusive jurisdiction over non-Indians who commit crimes against Indians on the Qualla Boundary.

The federal government has jurisdiction over other crimes committed by Indians against non-Indians on the Qualla Boundary unless the defendant already has been punished by the tribal court.

The federal government has jurisdiction over victimless crimes committed by Indians on the Qualla Boundary unless the defendant already has been punished by the tribal court.

Tribal jurisdiction.

The tribe has jurisdiction over an Indian who commits a crime that is not defined as a “major crime.”

Update. A decision from the United States Supreme Court last term likely changed one of those rules. The Court in Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta, 597 U.S. ___, 142 S.Ct. 2486 (2022), held in a 5-4 decision that the state and federal governments have concurrent jurisdiction to prosecute crimes committed by non-Indians against Indians in Indian country unless state jurisdiction is preempted.

Continue reading

Another Look at Confrontation at Probation Violation Hearings

A new case from the Supreme Court of North Carolina gives us a chance to revisit the issue of a defendant’s confrontation rights at a probation violation hearing. Continue reading

Update on Pole Cameras and the Fourth Amendment

When an officer attaches a video camera to a utility pole and uses it to monitor a suspect’s home continuously for several months, is that a “search” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment? Or is it just the officer seeing what any passer-by might see, such that there is no intrusion on the suspect’s reasonable expectation of privacy? This issue has been a focal point of litigation since Carpenter v. United States, 585 U.S. ___, 138 S.Ct. 2206 (2018), which held that the long-term collection of historical cell site location information is so intrusive that it is a search, even though any individual piece of such data does not belong to the phone’s user and is not subject to a reasonable expectation of privacy. Whether the rationale of Carpenter extends to pole cameras has been addressed before on this blog, most recently here and here by Shea Denning. But there are a number of new cases in this area, which I have summarized below. Continue reading

News Roundup

Queen Elizabeth II died this week. When she took the throne, Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Harry Truman was the President of the United States. She was truly an institution. And, to draw at least a slight connection to criminal law, she was an institution that could not be prosecuted. As The Guardian explains here, British law provides near-total immunity to the monarch. King Charles now enjoys that protection. Read on for more news. Continue reading

Category: Uncategorized | Tags:

Case Summaries – N.C. Court of Appeals (Sept. 6, 2022)

This post summarizes the published criminal opinions from the North Carolina Court of Appeals released on September 6, 2022. This summary will be added to Smith’s Criminal Case Compendium, a free and searchable database of case summaries from 2008 to the present. The summary of State v. Teague was authored by Phil Dixon.

Continue reading