New Edition of the Capital Case Law Handbook Now Available

Although the number of capitally-tried cases has declined in recent years, capital cases remain important, complex, and hotly contested. So I’m happy to announce that a new edition of the North Carolina Capital Case Law Handbook is now available. I’m the author, though the new edition is built upon the sturdy foundation of the previous versions, which were written by my colleague Bob Farb.

The marketing blurb: “A research reference for North Carolina judges and lawyers who handle capital cases, this 300-page book is designed to help them understand statutes and case law affecting the trial and sentencing of defendants charged with first-degree murder in which the state seeks the death penalty. Although its primary focus is the sentencing process, it also discusses selected pretrial and trial issues that commonly arise in first-degree capital murder trials. The third edition updates and builds on previous editions and includes the following features:

  • Summaries of appellate cases rendered through the end of 2012
  • Relevant statutory law that has also been updated
  • More expanded analysis and discussion than previous versions
  • A new chapter on the Racial Justice Act
  • The book also contains an index of cases cited and a subject index”

Information about AOC purchases: Some court employees will get a copy through the Administrative Office of the Courts. The AOC has advised us that “a bulk purchase [of the book] has been made by using funds available. Upon receipt of the books, distribution will be made to the Senior Resident Superior Court Judges and the District Attorneys by inclusion in the regularly scheduled supply deliveries. Distribution should be complete by the end of June. Indigent Defense Services (IDS) has arranged to participate in this project, and deliveries will be made to IDS/Public Defenders also by inclusion in the regular supply deliveries. Distribution should be complete by the end of June.” I don’t know exactly how many copies each office will receive.

More information: You can get more information, and buy the book if you are so inclined, here. I welcome feedback of all kinds about the organization and content of the book.

1 thought on “New Edition of the Capital Case Law Handbook Now Available”

  1. I’m a criminal attorney here in Idaho. I don’t try capital cases, however, I never new about this type of resource out there. I can see this as a great resource even for cases that do not involve the death penalty.


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