blank

News Roundup

It’s been a year since a Molotov cocktail was thrown through the window of the Orange County Republican Party headquarters in Hillsborough, causing substantial damage to the building.  The FBI announced Monday that it was offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in the unsolved case.  Combined with $5,000 rewards offered by the state and the North Carolina Republican Party, the FBI reward brings the total reward money offered to $20,000.  Contact information for the FBI’s Charlotte office is available at the link.  Keep reading for more news.

Continue reading

Category: Uncategorized

I’m Just a Civil Judgment

Many of you probably remember the “I’m Just a Bill” segment from the Schoolhouse Rock! series. It explained—through a musical number that will be stuck in your head all day—how a bill becomes a law. I didn’t compose a song, but in today’s post I’ll attempt to explain what actually happens to the thousands of civil judgments entered for various monetary obligations in criminal court. Continue reading

From This Day Forward:  Technical Corrections Act Amends Statute of Limitations

While we wait to see what the North Carolina Supreme Court has to say in State v. Turner about the existing statute of limitations for misdemeanors, the General Assembly has amended G.S. 15-1 for future prosecutions.

Continue reading

blank

Is the Court of Appeals Signaling Less Forgiveness with SBM cases?

Maybe so, if two decisions from earlier this month are any indication. They are: State v. Bishop, ___ N.C. App. ___ (Oct. 3, 2017), where the court refused to consider arguments about the reasonableness of satellite-based monitoring (“SBM”) when the issue was not preserved or properly appealed, and State v. Greene, ___N.C. App. ___ (Oct. 3, 2017), where the court refused to remand a SBM hearing when the State failed to present sufficient evidence of the reasonableness of SBM. Before I discuss those cases, some background first. Continue reading

New Cases Hold that Using a Stingray Is a Search

Several years ago, I wrote about law enforcement use of cell site simulators, or Stingrays, noting that “[t]here’s a controversy about the legal status of these devices.” This post discusses some new cases that attempt to resolve the controversy. Continue reading

News Roundup

Remember that officer in Utah who handcuffed the nurse who refused to draw blood from an unconscious patient? CNN reports that he has been fired. Keep reading for more news. Continue reading

Category: Uncategorized | Tags:

Probation Officers’ Use of Naloxone and the Good Samaritan Law

Like many government agencies, Community Corrections is working to address the opioid epidemic. (Jeff wrote about some of the other things the government is doing here.) Under a new administrative policy, North Carolina probation officers are carrying Naloxone kits to respond to probationers and others experiencing a drug overdose. The policy raises questions, including some related to the limited immunity available under the Good Samaritan law in G.S. 90-96.2. Continue reading

Category: Uncategorized

State v. Thompson Tells a Tale of Two Facebook Screenshots

After Roshawn Thompson picked up his cousin Kendall Rascoe from the Greenville mall in November 2014, Thompson and a friend, Andre Grey, robbed Rascoe at gunpoint. At Thompson’s armed robbery trial, his defense attorney sought to cross examine Rascoe about Facebook messages he sent to Thompson earlier in the day asking whether Thompson could get some marijuana for him while he was in Greenville. Rascoe denied sending the message and testified that he just happened to run into Thompson at the mall. The State objected to the admission of the screenshot of the messages.

Later in the trial, the State sought to introduce a screenshot of a picture of Thompson and Grey copied from Thompson’s Facebook page. Rascoe showed the investigating detective the picture for purposes of identifying Thompson and Grey. Thompson objected to the admission of the screenshot, in which both of his middle fingers were extended.

How did the trial court rule?  Did it make the right call?

Continue reading

blank

Appeals of Expunction Decisions

A short opinion issued recently by the Court of Appeals, State v. J.C., ___ N.C. App. ___ (Sept. 19, 2017), concerns two open questions about appellate review of a trial judge’s expunction decision. How can a party obtain appellate review? And, how can the person who petitions for an expunction make sure that the records of the appellate proceeding remain confidential? The Court’s opinion does not expressly address those issues, but the case provides guidance on both. Continue reading

Should an Officer Use His or Her Personal Cell Phone to Take Work-Related Photographs?

I’ve been asked several times lately whether it is a good idea for an officer to use his or her personal cell phone to take work-related photographs, such as photographs of a crime scene or photographs of seized items. In this post, I explain why I think that’s OK, so long as it is consistent with agency policy. Continue reading