Taking a Leave to Work for the New Department of Adult Correction

Effective January 1, 2023, the state correctional system was transferred from the Department of Public Safety to its own cabinet-level department, the Department of Adult Correction. S.L. 2021-180, sec. 19C.9. The new department includes prisons and probation; juvenile justice will stay in the Department of Public Safety. After 16 years at the School of Government, I will be taking a leave of absence to work as the Senior Policy Advisor for the new department.

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Findings in Support of Sex Offender Registration after State v. Fuller

Most crimes on the list of reportable offenses automatically and mandatorily require registration upon conviction. As discussed in an earlier post, however, some crimes require registration only if the sentencing court orders it. After I wrote that post, the Supreme Court of North Carolina issued an opinion on what findings can properly support a trial court’s conclusion that a conviction will require sex offender registration. Today’s post discusses that case, State v. Fuller, 2021-NCSC-20, ___ N.C. ___, ___ S.E.2d ___ (Mar. 12, 2021).

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A Look at the 2022 Sentencing Commission Recidivism Report

The North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission released its biennial Correctional Program Evaluation, better known as the Recidivism Report. It is prepared in conjunction with the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, as required by G.S. 164-47. The full report is available here. It covers defendants placed on probation or released from prison in Fiscal Year 2019, and examines their subsequent arrests, convictions, and incarcerations during a two-year follow-up period.

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No Appeal for District Court Probationers Who Waive Their Right to a Hearing

Under G.S. 15A-1347(b), if a defendant waives a probation revocation hearing in district court, he or she may not appeal the revocation or imposition of a split sentence to superior court for a de novo violation hearing. That law was enacted in 2013 as part of legislation designed to streamline the superior court caseload, focusing it on contested cases and those implicating a defendant’s right to a jury trial. S.L. 2013-385. I wrote a post about that law in 2014, here, wondering about some of the then-new law’s wrinkles. The Court of Appeals considered its first case under G.S. 15A-1347(b) last year in State v. Flanagan, 2021-NCCOA-456, 279 N.C. App. 228 (2021).

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Habitualized Sex Crimes, Take Two

About seven years ago, I wrote this post about habitualized sex crimes. The issue I explored there was how to sentence a person convicted of a Class F through I sex crime when he or she has also attained habitual felon status. The question is whether the defendant, who is now sentenced as a Class B1 through E felon due to the habitual felon law’s four-class enhancement, is subject to the elevated maximum sentence applicable to Class B1 through E sex offenders under G.S. 15A-1340.17(f). When I wrote that post there was no appellate case answering the question. There is now.

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Case Summaries – Court of Appeals of North Carolina (April 19, 2022)

This post summarizes published criminal decisions from the Court of Appeals of North Carolina released on April 19, 2022. These summaries will be added to Smith’s Criminal Case Compendium, a free and searchable database of case summaries from 2008 to present. There was sufficient circumstantial evidence that the defendant was the driver of a moped. … Read more