Geisslercrain Sends Green Packing

This is not a sports story – despite what the title may suggest. Besides, I am so over March Madness.  There was a little too much madness and not enough March for this double Tarheel. State v. Geisslercrain is among of yesterday’s batch of court of appeals opinions.  (The court issued twenty-four published opinions yesterday—leading … Read more


Presumptive Sentences in DWI Cases

Author’s Note:  The opinion discussed below was withdrawn on February 4, 2014 and replaced by an opinion discussed here.   How can a sentencing factor found by a judge that doubles a defendant’s maximum sentence not implicate Blakely?  I pondered this question a few years ago after the court of appeals in State v. Green, … Read more

Spot Sentencing

Every cell on the felony sentencing grid is divided into three ranges of permissible minimum sentences—mitigated, presumptive, and aggravated. Most defendants (69 percent) are sentenced in the presumptive range, about a quarter (27 percent) are sentenced in the mitigated range, and the remaining 4 percent are sentenced in the aggravated range. At the low end … Read more