State Supreme Court Sends Racial Justice Act Cases Back to Superior Court

Just before Christmas, the Supreme Court of North Carolina decided the Racial Justice Act cases that were argued back in April 2014. Rather than ruling on the merits, the court remanded the cases for further proceedings, concluding that the State should have been granted a continuance to allow it to respond to the inmates’ statistical study of jury selection across the state in capital cases.

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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 … Read more

The Supreme Court on Competency and Collateral Review

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court decided an important competency case. Let’s start the discussion with a quiz. Which of the following statements is true? a. A trial may be conducted even when a capital defendant is incompetent. b. Federal habeas proceedings may continue even when a petitioner/former capital defendant is incompetent. c. An execution … Read more