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., 10/21/2021
E.g., 10/21/2021

The court remanded for resentencing where the trial court imposed consecutive sentences based on a misapprehension of G.S. 14-7. The jury found the defendant guilty of multiple counts of robbery and attaining habitual felon status. The trial court sentenced the defendant as a habitual felon to three consecutive terms of imprisonment for his three common law robbery convictions, stating that “the law requires consecutive sentences on habitual felon judgments.” However, under G.S. 14-7.6, a trial court only is required to impose a sentence consecutively to “any sentence being served by” the defendant. Thus, if the defendant is not currently serving a term of imprisonment, the trial court may exercise its discretion in determining whether to impose concurrent or consecutive sentences.

The trial court did not err by ordering the defendant to serve a habitual felon sentence consecutive to sentences already being served. The defendant argued that the trial court “misapprehend[ed]” the law “when it determined that it did not have the discretion to decide” to run the defendant’s sentence concurrently with his earlier convictions. The court noted that G.S. 14-7.6 “has long provided” that habitual felon sentences “shall run consecutively with and shall commence at the expiration of any sentence being served by the person sentenced under this section.” 

A defendant may be sentenced as a habitual felon for an underlying felony of drug trafficking.

Rejecting the defendant’s argument that his sentence of 84-110 months in prison for possession of cocaine as a habitual felon constituted cruel and unusual punishment. 

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