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Category Archives: Uncategorized
The Chief Justice entered her first emergency order to address catastrophic conditions resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak on March 13, 2020. More than three months (and many orders) later, those catastrophic conditions remain. So, as we prepare to enter a new month in COVID-season, the Chief Justice yesterday issued two new orders extending and modifying earlier directives.
The first June 29, 2020 order, which will not be discussed further here, modifies and extends Emergency Directive 18, which imposes procedural requirements in eviction proceedings. The second June 29, 2020 order modifies and extends Emergency Directives 2 through 8. Two of these extended directives directly impact criminal cases: Emergency Directive 3, which authorizes judicial officials to conduct proceedings that include remote audio and video transmissions, notwithstanding any other provision of law; and Emergency Directive 7, which delays the reporting of a failure to comply based upon nonpayment of monies owed in a criminal or infraction case.
My colleagues Meredith Smith and Aimee Wall are hosting a webinar on Thursday, July 16, 2020, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. that will provide an overview of North Carolina’s framework for protecting older adults from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. The program, which is offered at no charge, will focus on connectivity and collaboration across systems and on groups that work to empower older adults to remain free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. You can register for the webinar here.
Three Wilmington police officers were fired on Wednesday after dash-cam footage from an officer’s patrol vehicle showed the officers engaging in racist conversations with each other, including one conversation that was explicitly violent. The conversations occurred in early June, soon after protests started in Wilmington related to the killing of George Floyd. The officers, Michael ‘Kevin’ Piner, Jesse E. Moore II, and James ‘Brian’ Gilmore each had been with the Wilmington Police Department since the late 90’s. The content of the conversations is horrifying and the story has become national news. Keep reading for more on this and other news.
Almost ten years after the Justice Reinvestment Act established a new statutory definition of absconding from probation, we’re starting to get a better sense of what behavior does and does not rise to the level of absconding. Continue reading →
Much of the conversation at one of the first Juvenile Jurisdiction Advisory Committee meetings I attended centered on “doughnut hole” youth. The meeting participants were discussing the long pause between when raise the age legislation passed in June of 2017 until the time it would take effect in December of 2019. Many 16- and 17-year-old youth would continue to be convicted in criminal court for things that the legislature had already determined should be juvenile offenses for youth their age. Caught in between passage and implementation, these kids were in the “doughnut hole.” The legislature included a remedy for these youth, and many others, in the Second Chance Act (S562) that was ratified on June 17, 2020. Certain misdemeanor and Class H and I felony convictions for offenses committed before raise the age took effect and when the person was 16 or 17, can now be expunged. This new expunction opportunity is available to any person with an existing conviction from the age of 16 or 17 that would now fall under juvenile jurisdiction and not just the young people who were caught in the doughnut hole. Continue reading →
The Dean of the School of Government, Mike Smith, shared a message last week recognizing the need for action to bring about real and enduring progress on issues of race and bias. He noted that while learning about racism, focusing on our shortcomings, and improving ourselves is important, “[n]one of those things will be enough if they are not accompanied by a commitment to addressing racial inequities in government and improving outcomes for African Americans.” The dean included a two question survey seeking input from the government officials with whom we work about how we can best support their efforts to address systemic racism.
I shared the dean’s message with the Judicial Branch officials with whom we work, asking them to complete the survey and encouraging them to reach out to me individually to discuss how the North Carolina Judicial College might assist in these efforts.
There was notable criminal law legislation in the General Assembly this week where lawmakers unanimously passed the North Carolina First Step Act and the Second Chance Act. As the News & Observer reports, some legislators have said that the fact that the bills had unanimous support is a signal that the legislature may take up additional criminal justice reform legislation. The bills now go to Governor Roy Cooper, who one of the bills’ cosponsors blamed for over-incarceration in the state, for approval. Keep reading for more on this story and other news.
This post summarizes published criminal cases issued by the North Carolina Court of Appeals on June 16, 2020.
As always, these summaries will be added to Smith’s Criminal Case Compendium, a free, searchable database of case annotations from 2008 to today.
Thanks to Chris Tyner for preparing the majority of these summaries.