State v. McGill, 141 N.C. App. 98 (2000)

A defendant charged with sexual abuse of a minor has a constitutional right of in camera review by the trial judge of all the records of the agency charged with investigating allegations of child abuse pertaining to the prosecuting witness. If the trial court determines that the records contain information favorable to the accused and material to his guilt or punishment, the pertinent records must be turned over to the defendant. If the trial court denies the defendant's request for the evidence, the evidence should be sealed and “placed in the record for appellate review.”
On appeal, the appeals court must examine the sealed records to determine if they contain information that is (1) favorable to the defendant and (2) material to either his guilt or punishment. “Favorable” evidence includes evidence which tends to exculpate the defendant and evidence which adversely affects the credibility of the State's witnesses. Evidence is “material” if there is a “reasonable probability” that the result of the proceeding would have been different had the evidence been disclosed to the defendant. If this Court finds that the sealed records contain evidence which is both favorable and material, then the defendant was constitutionally entitled to disclosure of that evidence. However, the defendant is only entitled to a new trial if the failure to disclose favorable and material evidence was prejudicial.
(Summary from State v. Tabor, 164 N.C. App. 231 (2004))

Children's Services

State case

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