Time Limits on Trials

I’m a little like a broadcaster for a small-market sports team, in that I’m a relentless “homer,” always impressed with the efforts of the School of Government faculty. With that disclaimer in mind, my colleague Michael Crowell has just published a terrific paper, available for free here, about courts’ authority to impose time limits on … Read more

News Roundup

Update: The creator of the barrel monster has had his day in court, and appears to have received some sort of deferred prosecution, as reported here. Original Post: My colleagues have contributed several great posts recently, and I have a couple more ready to go, but there have been several news stories over the past … Read more


Retroactivity of Melendez-Diaz

Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, 557 U.S. __, 129 S. Ct. 2527 (2009), decided by the United States Supreme Court last month, already has had significant implications for criminal prosecutions in North Carolina. The original wave of questions posed to me about the case pertained to its application in pending prosecutions. I wrote about Melendez-Diaz generally and … Read more

State v. Byrd and Violations of DVPOs

I thought that I might blog today about the Sotomayor confirmation hearings, but they’ve been thoroughly dull. The only piece I’ve seen that makes them seem even a little bit interesting is this one, which I understand to be written by a liberal commentator unimpressed with the judge. Fortunately, my colleague John Rubin rescued me … Read more

Sex Offender Case Law Update (Part II)

Further Update: Well, that didn’t take long – the court of appeals issued its revised decision in Worley on July 21, concluding under the supreme court’s new definition of “change of address” that Mr. Worley had changed addresses, and thus upholding his conviction for failing to update the sheriff. The court again rejected the argument … Read more

Sex Offender Case Law Update (Part I)

Update: As discussed on Professor Doug Berman’s Sentencing Blog, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts recently determined that the GPS monitoring law in that state is punitive in effect, and therefore may not be applied to defendants initially placed on probation for acts committed before the law’s enactment. The court’s opinion in Commonwealth v. Cory … Read more

New Publication Regarding Sexual Assault Cases

From time to time, a judge, prosecutor, or defense attorney will call the School of Government asking about the law of sexual assualts in, say, 1968. Typically, the caller will be handling a case involving recent allegations of sexual abuse by a person who is now an adult but who was a child at the … Read more

News Roundup

Update: It has come to my attention that there may be a bit more to the AOC restitution story than meets the eye. This memo from Judge John Smith, the director of the AOC, provides a bit of explanation for why the restitution priorities were set as they were, and to what extent the General … Read more


State v. Davis and Double Jeopardy v. Statutory Construction

[Update: the state supreme court reviewed this case, reversing in part, as described here.] The court of appeals published its opinion in State v. Davis this week, a case in which it affirmed the defendant’s convictions for felony serious injury by vehicle, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, two counts of felony death … Read more

Child Pornography Sentencing

There’s a tremendous debate going on over child pornography sentencing in the federal courts. In a number of high-profile cases, judges have imposed sentences well below what the federal sentencing guidelines recommend. An Assistant Federal Public Defender published an influential paper arguing that the guidelines for such cases have been increased over time for reasons … Read more