Last year, the General Assembly appropriated $3.5 million from federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to the Department of Public Safety to be used as a grant for Caitlyn’s Courage, Inc. See S.L. 2020-80 as modified by S.L. 2020-78. The non-profit was to use the funds to conduct pilot programs in at least nine judicial districts through which it would provide GPS electronic monitoring devices to be used as a condition of pretrial release for defendants charged with crimes related to stalking, sexual assault, domestic abuse, and violations of a domestic violence protective order. The legislation directed Caitlyn’s Courage to report back to the General Assembly on the effectiveness of the programs and on recommendations for expansion. This post discusses the Caitlyn’s Courage programs, reviews highlights from its April 2021 report to the legislature (“the Report”), and cites a legislative proposal to allocate substantially more funding to expand this type of programming statewide.
This post summarizes published criminal and related decisions from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals released during July 2021 which may be of interest to state practitioners. Summaries are also emailed to subscribers of the SOG criminal law listserv. Previous summaries of Fourth Circuit decisions are available on the SOG website, here. Continue reading
This post summarizes criminal decisions released by the Supreme Court of North Carolina on August 13, 2021.
WCNC reports that the Mecklenburg County Courthouse was closed all of this week because of a covid outbreak among employees. All sessions of district and superior court were rescheduled. The WCNC story says that at least 29 employees were in quarantine because of potential exposure to the virus. Keep reading for more news.
Like a growing number of schools, hospitals, businesses, and other organizations around the country, UNC announced last week that all students and employees returning to campus would be required either to provide proof that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or agree to participate in weekly testing for the virus. For an update on other entities that are currently implementing similar mandates, their legal authority for taking such steps, and the status of some early court challenges to these measures, Jill Moore’s recent civil blog post on those topics is a great resource.
Rather than getting vaccinated or agreeing to be tested, some people have resorted to purchasing and submitting fake vaccination cards to their school or employer. Organizations like UNC have their own disciplinary procedures to address this kind of noncompliance or fraud, but I’ve had several people ask me recently whether it’s also a crime to possess or use one of these fake cards under North Carolina law, and if so what’s the offense?
I’m happy to announce that I recently finished an Administration of Justice Bulletin about computer-related crimes. It is a substantial expansion of my recent blog posts on the subject, providing an overview of how the statutes have been applied and some criminal scenarios that may fall within their purview. The bulletin is available here as a free download. As always, I welcome comments, feedback, and questions. Please feel free to email me at email@example.com.
Suppose a juror falls ill during the second day of deliberations following a two-week trial and is unable to continue her service. What are the trial court’s options?
A. Replace the juror with an alternate juror.
B. Declare a mistrial.
C. Either A or B, in the trial court’s discretion.
As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, Robert Aaron Long pleaded guilty this week to four counts of murder arising from a series of shootings he committed earlier this year in the Atlanta area. The plea deal covered four killings in Woodstock, Georgia, which is north of Atlanta, and spared Long from the potential of being sentenced to death at a capital trial. Long is accused of killing eight people, many of them Asian women, and additional murder charges still are pending against him in Fulton County, where part of the shooting rampage took place. Keep reading for more news.