The new edition of Arrest, Search, and Investigation in North Carolina, Fifth Edition, 2016 is now available. Continue reading for additional information. Continue reading
Tag Archives: publications
At long last I have completed the 2015 edition of my online guide to relief from a criminal conviction. This free guide, available here on the School of Government’s website, covers the various forms of relief available under North Carolina law, including expunctions, certificates of relief, and other procedures. It includes changes made by the General Assembly through the end of its 2015 legislative session. Continue reading →
I’m happy to announce that my book on digital evidence is now available. There are five chapters, covering (1) search warrants for digital devices, (2) warrantless searches of digital devices, (3) law enforcement access to electronic communications, (4) tracking devices, and (5) the admissibility of electronic evidence. Continue reading →
Emily Coward and I are glad to share a new resource with you: a reference manual entitled Raising Issues of Race in North Carolina Criminal Cases. If you are a person who likes to have a hard copy on the shelf, you can buy it here. Like our other manuals, it is available for free online at http://defendermanuals.sog.unc.edu. (The electronic platform has been retooled, and I think you will find that it has a nice look and is user-friendly.) Continue reading →
The School of Government has been publishing reference books on motor vehicle law since 1947. The twelfth iteration of a book on motor vehicle law and the law of impaired driving, written by Ben Loeb and Jim Drennan was published in 2000. The book went out of print a few years ago, though you’ll find dog-eared copies of it in many offices, including mine. I’m happy to report that a new book in this series now is available: The Law of Impaired Driving and Related Implied Consent Offenses in North Carolina.
The 2014 Cumulative Supplement to Arrest, Search, and Investigation in North Carolina (4th ed. 2011) is now available. It is called a cumulative supplement because it includes the material in the 2013 supplement so you only need the book and the 2014 cumulative supplement to be current. You may order it online here or contact the School of Government Bookstore Manager at 919.966.4120. Continue reading for additional details.
From 1995 to 2009, North Carolina had two sentencing grids—one for felonies, one for misdemeanors. That was it. Then the grid was amended in 2009. And 2011 (with special rules for sex offenders). And 2013, for both felonies and misdemeanors. Because you should always use the grid that was in place when the defendant committed his or her crime—and there’s no flexibility on that, by the way, State v. Lee, __ N.C. App. __, 745 S.E.2d 73 (2013)—you need to have all the grids handy.
With that in mind, a new publication, the North Carolina Structured Sentencing Handbook with Felony and Misdemeanor Sentencing Grids, is available for purchase from the School of Government bookstore. It includes all the grids back to 1994, presented in a refreshed design and color scheme that we hope will be helpful. (I sent out a picture of the page proofs sitting on my kitchen table if you want to preview the new look.)
In addition to the grids themselves, the handbook includes instructions on how to use them. Here’s Step 1:
To the extent possible the instructions are presented in a quick-reference format suitable for use in court. For instance, the section on how to calculate a defendant’s prior record level includes this table of rules for what counts for points and what doesn’t.
The instructions also address other topics including:
- Drug trafficking
- Fines, costs, and fees
- How to sentence multiple convictions
- Jail credit
- Deferrals (deferred prosecution, PJC, and G.S. 90-96)
And there are lots of lists, like:
- All the various conditions of probation (regular, special, intermediate, community and intermediate, and sex offender)
- All the aggravating and mitigating factors
- Commonly charged felonies and misdemeanors, sorted by offense class
- Crimes covered under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act
- Crimes requiring sex offender registration
In general the instructions follow the same step-by-step process used for many years by the North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission in its training and reference materials. Sentencing Commission staff kindly reviewed the new handbook, and I thank them for their expertise and advice. Thanks also to School of Government attorney Christopher Tyner for his review.
The School is selling the handbook for $18. The Administrative Office of the Courts purchased copies for superior and district court judges, appellate judges, district attorneys, and select AOC offices. Distribution of those copies will begin in February and should be complete by March. Please contact Joe Slate (919-890-1532) if you have questions about AOC distribution. The Office of Indigent Defense Services purchased 275 copies for felony public defenders and felony contract attorneys. Please contact IDS if you have questions about their distribution.
I welcome your thoughts on the content and format of the handbook. I intend to produce it as frequently as necessary to address subsequent changes to the law, and of course would like for it to be as user friendly as possible.
And I hope you like the colors we used for the grids, because they’ll also appear in another project that—after some technical delays—is about to finish up.
More on that soon…
My colleagues have published several new papers recently, so I thought I would take a moment to highlight them.
Judicial misconduct. In April, Michael Crowell published What Gets Judges in Trouble, which provides an overview of the procedures for disciplining judges, summarizes statistical information about complaints of judicial misconduct, and identifies the types of misconduct that are most likely to result in serious consequences. As is typical of Michael’s work, it written in an engaging style and should interest judges and anyone who has ever considered complaining about a judge’s behavior. It is available here as a free download.
Probation violations. Last month, Jamie Markham published Probation Violations. As the name suggests, it details the law of probation violations, including what must be alleged in a violation report, where and how violation hearings must be conducted, and what possible outcomes may result from such hearings. It is detailed, clear, and precise, and is available here as a free download.
Evidence. Last week, Jessie Smith published Criminal Evidence: Character Evidence, a paper that addresses when and how character evidence may be introduced in criminal trials. It covers issues like the admissibility of evidence of law-abidingness, the admissibility of evidence of character for truthfulness, and the admissibility of specific instances of conduct to prove character. It is available here as a free download. It follows hot on the heels of another evidence paper that Jessie published in April, Rule 404(b): Evidence of Other Crimes, Wrongs, or Acts, which is available here as a free download.
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 versions, which were written by my colleague Bob Farb.
The marketing blurb: “A research reference for North Carolina judges and lawyers who handle capital cases, this 300-page book is designed to help them understand statutes and case law affecting the trial and sentencing of defendants charged with first-degree murder in which the state seeks the death penalty. Although its primary focus is the sentencing process, it also discusses selected pretrial and trial issues that commonly arise in first-degree capital murder trials. The third edition updates and builds on previous editions and includes the following features:
- Summaries of appellate cases rendered through the end of 2012
- Relevant statutory law that has also been updated
- More expanded analysis and discussion than previous versions
- A new chapter on the Racial Justice Act
- The book also contains an index of cases cited and a subject index”
Information about AOC purchases: Some court employees will get a copy through the Administrative Office of the Courts. The AOC has advised us that “a bulk purchase [of the book] has been made by using funds available. Upon receipt of the books, distribution will be made to the Senior Resident Superior Court Judges and the District Attorneys by inclusion in the regularly scheduled supply deliveries. Distribution should be complete by the end of June. Indigent Defense Services (IDS) has arranged to participate in this project, and deliveries will be made to IDS/Public Defenders also by inclusion in the regular supply deliveries. Distribution should be complete by the end of June.” I don’t know exactly how many copies each office will receive.
More information: You can get more information, and buy the book if you are so inclined, here. I welcome feedback of all kinds about the organization and content of the book.
If you haven’t heard about them already, you should know about two fantastic new publications by School of Government faculty members.
The first is Bob Farb’s paper on Maryland v. Shatzer, the Supreme Court’s recent Miranda case that I mentioned briefly here. The Court held that after a suspect invokes his right to counsel, police must stop questioning him but may try again after a 14-day break in custody. Unfortunately, the opinion leaves several very important questions unanswered, such as whether the 14-day rule applies to suspects who are held in pretrial detention, whether an officer who is rebuffed a second time after a break in custody may try again after another 14 days, and whether police may question a defendant who is released from custody but is re-arrested on suspicion of a new crime within 14 days. Bob’s paper addresses each of those questions in his usual comprehensive manner. The paper’s a must-read for everyone, including officers, and it is a free download, available here.
The second is David Lawrence’s new edition of his book Public Records Law for North Carolina Local Governments. You can learn more here, or look at the table of contents here. Why would a criminal lawyer care about the Public Records Law? Because in more and more cases, defense attorneys are trying to use the public records law to obtain information about officers and police procedures that isn’t available through criminal discovery. Chapter 8 of the book is all about law enforcement and jail records, and discusses the scope of the law’s exception for records of criminal investigations. This book isn’t free, but it may belong in your library: I use my copy of the previous edition regularly, and I’m looking forward to getting the new edition.