Smith's Criminal Case Compendium

Smith's Criminal Case Compendium

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This compendium includes significant criminal cases by the U.S. Supreme Court & N.C. appellate courts, Nov. 2008 – Present. Selected 4th Circuit cases also are included.

Jessica Smith prepared case summaries Nov. 2008-June 4, 2019; later summaries are prepared by other School staff.

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E.g., 09/17/2021
E.g., 09/17/2021

The trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying the defendant’s motion for a mistrial on grounds that the State failed to provide the defendant with additional discovery after a meeting with co-defendant William Brown gleaned new information. After recognizing potential discovery violations by the State, the trial court instructed defense counsel to uncover any discrepancies in Brown’s testimony through cross-examination. After doing so, the defense renewed its mistrial motion. Although the trial court denied that motion, it granted the defense a recess “to delve into that particular matter” and ordered the State to memorialize all future discussions with Brown. All of the trial court’s remedies were permissible and were not an abuse of discretion. Additionally, the trial court did not err by denying the defendant’s mistrial motion; that remedy is appropriate only where the improprieties make it impossible to attain a fair and impartial verdict. 

The trial court did not abuse its discretion by granting a recess instead of dismissing the charges or barring admission of the defendant’s statement to the police, when that statement was not provided to the defense until the second day of trial in violation of the criminal discovery rules. When making its ruling, the trial court said that it would “consider anything else that may be requested,” short of dismissal or exclusion of the evidence, but the defense did not request other sanctions or remedies.

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