Supreme Court News

The Supreme Court (Washington, not Raleigh) has had a bit of a slow February so far, whether because of Justice Ginsburg’s well-publicized health problems or for some other reason.  Still, it’s done a couple things of interest to criminal lawyers. First, it adopted a broad interpretation of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(9), which prohibits people who have … Read more

The Financial Crisis and the Death Penalty

According to a news article available here, several states are considering eliminating the death penalty as a way to save money.  The issue has sparked some interest in the blogosphere, including here and here.  In light of the ever-increasing budget shortfall in North Carolina, which will apparently exceed two billion dollars and require cuts of … Read more

Multiple Assault Convictions Based on the Same Conduct

North Carolina has a number of different assault crimes, like simple assault, assault on a female, assault with a deadly weapon, and so on.  We also have a confusing body of case law regarding the propriety of multiple assault convictions based on a single course of conduct.  For example, can a defendant who assaults his … Read more

Gun-Toting Felons

North Carolina law prohibits convicted felons from possessing firearms.  See G.S. 14-415.1.  I’ve had several recurrent questions about this offense, so here’s an FAQ about FIP (felon in possession): 1. Doesn’t North Carolina allow felons to possess long guns? Not anymore.  North Carolina’s FIP law used to have lots of exceptions, including exceptions for long … Read more

News Roundup

This post simply highlights and links to some of the criminal law news that’s broken over the last few days, since there’s been an unusual amount of it. First, the National Academy of Sciences issued an apparently scathing report about the state of the nation’s crime labs.  Newspaper story here, full report available for purchase … Read more

Recording Interrogations

A couple of sessions ago, the General Assembly enacted G.S. 15A-211, which requires that custodial interrogations in homicide cases be recorded. The idea is to “eliminate disputes about interrogations,” id., and particularly, to prevent and record any coercion by law enforcement that might result in a false confession, and to prevent false claims of coercion. … Read more

U Visas for Undocumented Crime Victims

Criminal lawyers are paying more attention to immigration issues in cases where the defendant is not a United States citizen, and that’s a good thing. But my sense is that many lawyers don’t know about a provision of immigration law that applies in certain cases where the victim is not a United States citizen. It’s … Read more