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

Following State v. Holden, 346 N.C. 404 (1997), the court held that the trial court erred by refusing to allow the defendant to use a remaining peremptory challenge when a juror revealed mid-trial that she knew one of the State’s witnesses from high school. After re-opening voir dire on the juror, the trial court determined that there was no cause to remove her. The defendant then requested that he be allowed to use his remaining peremptory challenge, but this request was denied. The court reasoned that the trial court has discretion to re-open voir dire even after the jury has been empaneled. If that happens, each side has an absolute right to exercise any remaining peremptory challenges to excuse the juror.

The trial court erred by denying the defendant the opportunity to use his one remaining peremptory challenge after voir dire was reopened. After the jury was impaneled, the judge learned that a seated juror had attempted to contact an employee in the district attorney’s office before impanelment. The trial judge reopened voir dire, questioned the juror, allowed the parties to do so as well, but denied the defendant’s request to remove the juror. The court of appeals noted that after a jury has been impaneled, further challenge of a juror is in the trial court’s discretion. However, once the trial court reopens examination of a juror, each party has an absolute right to exercise any remaining peremptory challenges.

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