Today’s a UNC holiday, and I am dutifully taking the day off.  For those who need their faith in humanity restored, though, you might read this story about a kid who robbed a Dunkin’ Donuts, felt bad about it, and came back the next day to return the money and hug the cashier.  Well, he … Read more

Relief from (Un?)Fair Sentencing

One of our loyal readers asked for our take on the provision in the motion for appropriate relief (MAR) statute that allows a defendant to seek relief at any time when “[t]here has been a significant change in law, either substantive or procedural, applied in the proceedings leading to the defendant’s conviction or sentence, and … Read more

Rivera v. Illinois and “Reverse Batson”

In Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986), the Supreme Court held that prosecutors could not exercise peremptory challenges based on race. In Georgia v. McCollum, 505 U.S. 42 (1992), the Court extended the same rule to defendants. (Sex discrimination is likewise prohibited, under J.E.B. v. Alabama ex rel T.B., 511 U.S. 127 (1994).) Yet … Read more

Lineups, Showups, Undercover Buys, and G.S. 15A-284.52

In 2007, the General Assembly enacted the Eyewitness Identification Reform Act, G.S. 15A-284.50 et seq.  The heart of the Act is G.S. 15A-284.52, which lays out rules for conducting lineups, whether live, i.e., involving the actual suspect and several other fillers, or by photo array, i.e., involving a picture of the suspect and several other … Read more

More Credit Issues

After Alyson’s post from yesterday, I thought it might be a good time to recap some of the other sentence credit issues our courts have addressed over the years. These decisions are grounded in G.S. 15-196.1, which requires credit for the “total amount of time a defendant has spent, committed to or in confinement in … Read more

Jail Credit for Split Sentences (Isn’t That Special?)

Editor’s note: SOG faculty member Alyson Grine — today’s guest blogger — holds the position of Defender Educator. As her title suggests, her principal client group is public defenders and court-appointed lawyers, but she frequently addresses issues of concern to all participants in the criminal justice system. Assistant Public Defender “Tom” from eastern North Carolina … Read more

News Roundup

Several newsworthy items have cropped up lately, so I wanted to take a day to highlight some of them.  First and foremost, the News and Observer has a troubling front-page story, here, about the SBI’s investigation into allegedly fraudulent dismissals of DWI cases in Johnston County.  Not the sort of publicity the court system needs. … Read more

Banishment, Part II

Editor’s note: This post was originally intended to be a response to a comment to a post about sentences of banishment. The initial post, here, considered a federal sentence that forbade the defendants from a particular county during their supervised release, and concluded that North Carolina courts lack the power to impose a similar sentence. … Read more