There seem to be fewer and fewer reported decisions about criminal discovery in North Carolina. A recent North Carolina Supreme Court decision finding a discovery violation by the prosecution, State v. Davis (Apr. 15, 2016), made me wonder why. This post reviews the evolution of North Carolina’s criminal discovery laws, which has brought relative calm to this area of law, along with the decision in Davis, which deals with a recurring issue about disclosure of expert opinion.
On Tuesday, the Eleventh Circuit ruled, en banc, that law enforcement may obtain historical cell site location information without a search warrant, using a court order based on less than probable cause. There’s a controversy over what legal standard should govern law enforcement access to location information, and the Eleventh Circuit’s ruling is likely to be influential in the debate. This post explains the issue and puts the new decision in context.
The rules of thumb about expert testimony in child sexual abuse cases are (1) that an expert can’t testify that a child was, in fact, abused absent physical evidence, and (2) that an expert can testify to common characteristics or “profiles” of sexual abuse victims. A recent court of appeals case holds that even if the State doesn’t give notice of an expert’s opinion regarding victims’ characteristics, the expert has the leeway to discuss his or her own experiences with survivors of sexual abuse.
A couple of weeks ago, the court of appeals decided State v. Davis, __ N.C. App. __ (2012). For prosecutors, defense lawyers, and judges handling sex crime cases, it’s a significant opinion concerning Rule 404(b). The defendant in Davis was charged with indecent liberties and first-degree sexual offenses based primarily on his young son’s reports … Read more
Virtually all courts interpreted Belton v. New York, 453 U.S. 454 (1981), to authorize a law enforcement officer to search the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle incident to the arrest of any recent occupant of the vehicle. Then the Supreme Court decided Arizona v. Gant, 556 U.S. __ (2009), discussed here, among other places. … Read more
The Court of Appeals decided State v. Davis, 208 N.C. App. 26 (2010), last week, granting the defendant a new trial on second-degree murder, impaired driving and other charges arising from a fatal hit-and-run committed by the defendant after she had been drinking. While several aspects of the court’s opinion are noteworthy, this post focuses … Read more
I blogged here about the court of appeals’ opinion in State v. Davis, ___ N.C. App. ___ (2010), a case in which the defendant was convicted of several offenses and sentenced to more than 35 years imprisonment for driving while impaired and crashing his truck into another truck, killing two people and seriously injuring a … Read more
Along with the published cases released by the N.C. Court of Appeals on August 3, 2010, was an unpublished case of note. In State v. Davis, __ N.C. App. __ (Aug. 3, 2010), the court ordered a new trial after finding that the trial judge erred by admitting into evidence an autopsy report prepared by … Read more