Closing the Courtroom in Sex Crime Trials

A recent decision by the court of appeals illustrates the procedural pitfalls of a common practice: closing the courtroom during the testimony of the victim of an alleged sex crime. This practice is motivated by the best of intentions. The purpose is to spare the victim the embarrassment of discussing the intimate details of a … Read more

The Confidential Spousal Communication Privilege

It is hornbook law that “[a] confidential communication between husband and wife is privileged and neither spouse may be compelled to disclose it when testifying as a witness.” 1 Kenneth S. Broun, Brandis & Broun on North Carolina Evidence 419 (6th ed. 2004). See also G.S. 8-57(c). Just today, the court of  appeals decided a case … Read more