In preparation for some upcoming teaching, I’ve been brushing up on anticipatory search warrants. Such warrants authorize a search, but only once a “triggering condition” takes place. The most common scenario involves the controlled delivery of drugs that have been intercepted in transit. The warrant authorizes the search of the destination residence, but only once the drugs have been delivered. Case law establishes that a warrant may issue only if the drugs are on a “sure course” towards delivery. This post asks why – and whether – that should be the case.
A convicted murderer remains on the lam in the suburbs of Philadelphia following his escape from jail last week. The AP reports that the man was serving a life sentence for killing his former romantic partner when he climbed over a razor-wire-lined fence and walked away. The man has been seen around the area at least six times while managing to evade capture and is suspected of breaking into at least one area home. This has understandably caused considerable distress among community residents. Some schools have closed in response to the ongoing situation. The suspect is also wanted by Brazilian authorities in connection with another homicide there. Read on for more criminal law news.
I am saddened to share news of the tragic shooting that took place on the UNC’s campus Monday, which led to the death of Professor Zijie Yan. Reports of shots fired led to an hours-long lockdown on the campus and public schools nearby. UNC graduate student Tailei Qi, who was a member of Yan’s research group, has been charged with first-degree murder and carrying a gun on an educational campus in connection with the shooting.
Thank you to all who have reached out to us here at the School of Government.
Keep reading for more criminal law news.
Every law student learns that state civil cases may be “removed” to federal court under certain conditions – usually when the case presents a question of federal law, or the parties are residents of different states. See 28 U.S.C. § 1446. But until recently, I had never heard of a state criminal case being removed to federal court. Former President Trump and several members of his administration have requested exactly that, and there are federal statutes that allow for it under limited circumstances. This post digs a little more deeply into the removal of criminal cases.
Yesterday, former President Trump turned himself in at the Fulton County jail in Atlanta to be booked on criminal charges related to his alleged efforts to interfere with and overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. President Trump was in and out of the jail in 20 minutes, during which time he had a mug shot taken. He posted the mug shot on X (formerly Twitter), returning to the platform for the first time in two years. He characterized the prosecutor who brought the charges as a “Radical Left, Lowlife District Attorney.” NBC News has the basics here. I’ll have some more information about some interesting legal issues in the case on Monday. For now, keep reading for more news.
As a general rule, most defendants are entitled to have conditions of pretrial release set without unnecessary delay, and this typically happens at the initial appearance before a magistrate. G.S. 15A-511; -534. There is a carve out for capital defendants—only a judge can set conditions in a capital case and conditions are in the judge’s discretion. G.S. 15A-533(c). The statute contains other exceptions to the general rule, such as the 48-hour hold rule for domestic violence cases, providing that only a judge can set conditions within the first 48 hours of arrest. G.S. 15A-534.1(a). North Carolina’s new Pretrial Integrity Act, effective October 1, 2023, and applying to offenses committed on or after that date, creates significant additional exceptions to the general rule.
One of the more common questions I receive about the transfer of a case from juvenile jurisdiction to the jurisdiction of the superior court for trial as an adult is whether transfer can be ordered based on consent of the juvenile. The issue seems to cross my desk when a juvenile has some charges pending in criminal court and there are unrelated felony charges pending under juvenile jurisdiction. The short answer is no. The statutory structure that governs transfer does not allow for ordering transfer based on consent. Why?