The North Carolina Judicial College was founded in 2005 to expand the education and training the School of Government has provided for judicial branch officials since the 1930s. Judicial College funding has enabled the School to provide more courses for a growing court system and to offer training in small group, interactive educational settings. Much of the work of the Judicial College is done in partnership with, and is supported by, the Administrative Office of the Courts. Our latest annual report, which we distributed in hard copy form last week, highlights our work over the last fiscal year. I thought you might be interested in reading about what we’ve been up to and seeing the new faces in our group. In this season of thanks, we are thankful for all of the professionals with whom we are trusted to work and who are dedicated to the administration of justice in North Carolina. Happy Thanksgiving to you all.
Following the killing of George Floyd, several of North Carolina’s judicial officials joined others across the state and nation in sharing their personal experiences and perspectives on racism, bias, and disparate treatment and in calling for improvements to our justice system. Wake County District Court Judge Ashleigh Dunston recounted in her Fall 2020 State Bar Journal article, Justice Isn’t Always Blind, numerous first-hand accounts from Black judges and attorneys who have endured demeaning and discriminatory treatment in and out of the courtroom. One of the approaches we have taken at the North Carolina Judicial College to promote racial equity is by providing education on implicit bias and about empirical analyses of disparate treatment of and outcomes for minorities. Neither of these approaches adequately imparts the personal pain that many court officials and attorneys themselves have experienced. To give voice to these experiences, we created a video series, Reflections on Race and Justice. Several brave jurists have contributed their personal narratives. Judges who have seen the series have shared with us the impact of their colleagues’ voices and the desire for improvement that it inspires. Our project is ongoing, and we hope to collect many more accounts. If you would like to contribute your own perspective to this project, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last week, the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association released a 31-page Report on Law Enforcement Professionalism recommending numerous law enforcement reforms. The report, created by a working group formed after the killing of George Floyd and the public outcry for policing reform that followed, is part of “an effort to create a law enforcement profession that will not tolerate racism and excessive force by law enforcement, and that will hold North Carolina law enforcement to a high standard.” (Report at 5.) Changes are recommended for officer certification and de-certification, training, agency accreditation, use of force policy and data collection, and recruiting and retention. The document, which, among other things, contains the most comprehensive description of the training and education requirements for law enforcement officers I’ve ever seen, is worth reading in its entirety. This post focuses only on one aspect of the report: recommendations that would enable hiring authorities, certifying commissions and state prosecutors to learn of misconduct by officers, including untruthfulness, that would impair the officer’s credibility as a witness in criminal prosecutions and which must be disclosed to the defense
No one is coming to the North Carolina Criminal Law blog for late-breaking election news. And I have no insight into whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden will garner the 270 electoral votes necessary to serve as the next commander in chief. Nevertheless, I’m writing this post for posterity – and to highlight some down-ballot election results that may impact courts and criminal justice in our state. The election results described below were taken from WRAL.com and the North Carolina State Board of Elections website.
Procedural justice and procedural fairness are terms that refer to the way legal authorities interact with the public and how those interactions shape the public’s view of those authorities. I first learned of this framework for evaluating those interactions in connection with my work with court officials. Researchers have determined that people’s assessments of their experiences in the court system are influenced more by how they are treated and how their cases are handled than by whether they win or lose. It turns out that the same principles apply to the public’s perception of law enforcement officers. And a perception of procedural justice may increase the public’s compliance with the law and their willingness to cooperate with officers.
Update: These directives were renewed by an order entered November 16, 2020. They now expire December 14, 2020.
Chief Justice Cheri Beasley entered an omnibus order on Thursday, October 15, 2020 extending emergency directives issued in response to the public health threat posed by COVID-19, which otherwise would have expired on that date. The order extends Emergency Directives 2-5, 8-15, 18, and 20-22. It also modifies directives 2, 10, 21, and 22. These directives (discussed in further detail below) now expire November 14, 2020. Continue reading →
The 2020 Cumulative Supplement to Arrest, Search, and Investigation in North Carolina, written by Robert L. Farb and Christopher Tyner, is now available for purchase. The supplement updates Arrest, Search, and Investigation (5th edition 2016). The 2016 book and 2020 supplement may be purchased as a bundle here.
The supplement is current through July 1, 2020 and includes recent cases from the United States Supreme Court, from North Carolina’s appellate courts, and North Carolina legislation. The supplement includes coverage of critical material such as the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Kansas v. Glover addressing whether an officer may stop a vehicle based on knowledge that the registered owner’s license is revoked, the North Carolina Supreme Court’s decision in Chavez v. McFadden about whether state judicial officials may grant habeas relief to defendants held pursuant to immigration-related warrants, and 2020 legislation altering the place of confinement for persons under 18 years of age who are charged as adults.
NC Judicial Branch employees may procure copies through the online store at the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). They may contact the Purchasing Services Division (email@example.com) with questions. Please note that the AOC requests prior approval from division managers before ordering through its online store.
This post is the third in a series examining the impact of Carpenter v. United States, 585 U.S. ___, 138 S.Ct 2206 (2018) on electronic surveillance and the obtaining of location and other types of information from third parties. The first post summarized post-Carpenter decisions relating to surveillance by pole camera and tower dumps. The second examined post-Carpenter rulings on the obtaining of real-time surveillance information through satellite-based Global Positioning System data (GPS) or cell site location information (CSLI). This post examines the use of cell site simulators and the obtaining of other information about a person’s on-line activities or accounts from third parties.
This post is the second in a series examining the impact of Carpenter v. United States, 585 U.S. ___, 138 S.Ct 2206 (2018) on electronic surveillance and the obtaining of location and other types of information from third parties. The first post in this series summarized post-Carpenter decisions relating to surveillance by pole camera and tower dumps. This post examines post-Carpenter rulings on the obtaining of real-time surveillance information through satellite-based Global Positioning System data (GPS) or cell site location information (CSLI). The last post in this series will examine the use of cell site simulators and the obtaining of other information about a person’s on-line activities or accounts from third parties.