The News and Observer has had several interesting criminal justice articles over the past few days — including one about the great potted plant caper, available here: — but the one that struck me the most was this one, about “sexting”: Apparently, posting naked pictures of oneself on Myspace is soooooooo 2008.  Kids who are really … Read more

Upcoming Training Opportunities

Both prosecutors and defense lawyers have some training opportunities coming up here at the School of Government. Since this blog is intended to be of interest to both sides (as well as judges, law enforcement, and others), I thought I’d plug all of the training opportunities. A program for (relatively) new prosecutors will run from … Read more

Consecutive Sentences, Not Put on Ice

A number of people have asked me whether the United States Supreme Court’s recent opinion in Oregon v. Ice (07-901) has any impact on North Carolina sentencing law. The short answer is, No. In Ice, the latest chapter in the Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296 (2004), saga, a 5–4 majority of the Justices held … Read more

Sex Offenders, Online Identifiers, and the First Amendment

A federal judge in Utah recently invalidated the part of Utah’s sex offender registry that requires each registrant to provide his “[i]nternet identifiers and . . . addresses . . . [and] the name . . . of all websites on which the sex offender is registered.” Doe v. Shurtleff, 2008 WL 4427594 (D. Ut. Sept. 15, 2008) (quoting Utah Code Ann. § 77-27-21.5(12)(i) & (j)). This raises some questions about the constitutionality of North Carolina’s new requirement that sex offenders provide “[a]ny online identifier that the person uses or intends to use.” G.S. 14-208.7(b)(7) (eff. May 1, 2009). . .

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For Whom the (ahem) Period of Probation Tolls

If you’ve been reading the paper, you know the Division of Community Corrections (Probation) has been under a microscope lately. Since the killings of UNC undergraduate Eve Carson and Duke graduate student Abhijit Mahato in 2008, both allegedly committed by probationers, Probation has been taking a hard look at its policies and procedures. One change … Read more

Searching Cell Phones Incident to Arrest

Nearly 90% of American adults have cell phones. When one of those cell phone users is arrested, may police search their mobile phone incident to arrest? The Fourth Circuit recently answered that question in the affimative. See United States v. Murphy, __ F.3d __, 2009 WL 94268 (4th Cir. Jan. 15, 2009). The defendant in … Read more

State v. Wooten and Satellite Monitoring of Sex Offenders

Like about half the states, North Carolina monitors certain sex offenders by satellite. The General Assembly first enacted our satellite-based monitoring (SBM) program in 2006, requiring lifetime monitoring of recidivists, aggravated offenders, and sexually violent predators, and monitoring for a period of years determined by the court for offenders whose crime involved the physical, mental, … Read more

Crimmigration Resource

With almost 7% of North Carolina’s population now being foreign-born, it has become increasingly important for criminal lawyers on both sides to understand the interplay between criminal law and immigration law.  The relationship between the two bodies of law is most important in cases involving immigrant defendants who are neither citizens (citizens, generally, cannot lose … Read more

Herring v. United States and the Future of the Exclusionary Rule

Earlier this month, the United States Supreme Court decided Herring v. United States, no. 07-513, a case that raises interesting questions about the future of the exclusionary rule.  An officer learned that the eventual defendant, Herring, was at the impound lot, retrieving items from his impounded truck.  The officer was apparently familiar with Herring, and … Read more