It is the time of the year when the School of Government criminal law faculty begin to gear up for case updates. To prepare — and to pitch in on our particular areas of expertise — several of us made short(ish) videos delving into the details of significant appellate decisions from the last six months, including State v. McLymore, 380 N.C. 185 (2022), State v. Strudwick, 379 N.C. 94 (2021), and State v. Taylor, 379 N.C. 589 (2021). The videos are available here if you’d like to check them out.
Nearly half of the 7.7 billion people in the world are on social media, and each of those users has an average of 8 different accounts. The rate is even higher in the U.S., with around 70% of the population active on social media for an average of 2 hours every day. You can find more jaw-dropping statistics here.
Given these trends, it’s no surprise that social media evidence is showing up more frequently in criminal cases. A quick search for criminal cases mentioning the most common social media platforms brought up well over 100 North Carolina cases decided in the last decade, but only a few of those cases have directly analyzed the authentication requirements for this type of evidence. The Court of Appeals recent decision in State v. Clemons, __ N.C. App. __ (Dec. 1, 2020) provides some additional guidance in this important area.
Continue reading →