Whether “No” Means “No” in North Carolina

Attention has fallen on North Carolina for a 1979 court decision on withdrawal of consent during sexual intercourse. In State v. Way, 297 N.C. 293 (1979), the state supreme court held under North Carolina’s then-existing rape statutes that if a woman consents to sexual intercourse and in the middle of the act changes her mind, the defendant is not guilty of rape for continuing to engage in intercourse with her. The decision has drawn fierce criticism from the public and in legal circles. The criticism intensified after the General Assembly did not act on a bill introduced this session, Senate Bill 553, which would have permitted withdrawal of consent after intercourse begins consensually. People have asked me whether the apparent holding in Way is still the law in North Carolina. Is it true that a man would not be guilty of rape if he forcibly continued to have sexual intercourse with a woman after she withdrew consent? In my view, that may not be the law in North Carolina.

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Silence Is Golden: the Withdrawal of Zimmerman’s Attorneys

Although the big news today in the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case is that Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder, I want to focus on something that happened earlier in the week: attorneys Craig Sonner and Hal Uhrig held a news conference to announce that they had lost contact with Zimmerman and no longer represented … Read more