Is It Armed Robbery if a Defendant Has a Gun but Doesn’t Expressly Menace the Victim?

Last week, the Court of Appeals of North Carolina decided State v. Wright, a case that answers an interesting question: Does a defendant commit armed robbery when he takes a victim’s property after displaying a gun, even if he doesn’t point the gun at the victim or expressly threaten to shoot the victim — and even if the victim denies having being scared?

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Armed Robbery and Representations about Weapons

Twice each year, the School of Government welcomes newly-appointed magistrates for two weeks of training. Part of the curriculum involves learning the elements of common crimes. When I teach the elements of armed robbery, an exchange like this always ensues: Me: Imagine that a bad guy comes into a convenience store and tells the clerk … Read more