Recently questions came to me and my SOG criminal law colleagues about the crime of burglary in North Carolina that made it clear some readers would benefit from a discussion of statutory versus common law definitions of criminal offenses, as well as how to research legislative history. I will address these two issues using one scenario across a couple of blog posts. I hope these posts will help in interpreting and understanding statutes.
The General Assembly has amended G.S. 14-190.5A, the “revenge porn” statute. The statute now (1) applies to live streams as well as recordings, and (2) is not limited to images captured in the course of a “personal relationship.” However, it still leaves open questions about various types of digitally-generated images.
How is a statute supposed to read when the General Assembly amends it in May and then amends it again in July without acknowledging the prior amendment? Let me clarify with an example.