This legislative session, the General Assembly amended G.S. 15A-1215(a), effective October 1, 2021, to permit an alternate juror to replace a regular juror after deliberations have begun. S.L. 2021-94 (discussed in more detail here). The North Carolina Conference of Superior Court Judges Committee on Pattern Jury Instructions has created a new instruction for judges to utilize when substituting an alternate juror after deliberations have begun and has amended the existing closing pattern instruction to ensure that alternate jurors refrain from discussing the case with anyone until they are discharged from service. The revised interim instructions are available here.
Continue reading →
Last month, the court of appeals ruled that the pattern jury instruction for felony indecent exposure was inadequate given the facts of the case before it. The case is State v. Hoyle. Continue reading →
I am working on a new edition of the self-defense book I wrote in 1996. As in the story of Rip Van Winkle, a lot has changed in twenty years. Most notably, the General Assembly adopted new statutes in 2011 on self-defense and related defenses. This blog post addresses one of those provisions, in G.S. 14-51.4, which disqualifies a person from relying on self-defense while committing, attempting to commit, or escaping from the commission of a felony. North Carolina appellate courts have not yet considered the meaning of this provision. Cf. State v. Rawlings, ___ N.C. App. ___, 762 S.E.2d 909 (2014) (felony disqualification did not apply to case in which defendant’s offense predated enactment of provision, and court expressed no opinion on proper construction of provision). Continue reading →
Yesterday, I received the following announcement from a colleague here at the School. I thought that it was worth sharing in its entirety:
The North Carolina Pattern Jury Instructions (PJI) are now available, for free, in PDF Format in an Online Library from the UNC Chapel Hill School of Government. The Pattern Jury Instructions also remain available in hard copy and software formats. Continue reading →