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., 09/21/2021
E.g., 09/21/2021

(1) In this case in which the defendant was convicted of several felonies, including attempted murder, assault with intent to kill, burglary, and numerous attempted sex offenses, the trial court did not err in responding to the deliberating jury’s request that it explain the “legal definition of intent.” The State proposed that the court read to the jury the pattern instruction on intent, N.C.P.I. -Crim. 120. 10. This instruction includes a footnote setting out additional, optional instructions related to specific intent and general intent. The defendant was charged with multiple offenses, including both specific intent and general intent crimes. The defendant asked the trial court to read a special instruction pertaining only to specific intent and referencing only the charged crimes that required specific intent, omitting the charged general intent crimes. The State objected to the defendant’s proposed instruction on grounds that it was too specific and did not answer the question that the jury asked. The trial court gave State’s instruction, adding an additional sentence. The trial court’ decision to give the State’s instruction was well within its broad discretion. (2) The defendant failed to preserve for review language in the trial court’s instruction on intent that deviated from the pattern instruction. Specifically, the defendant failed to object to the additional sentence when proposed by the trial court. The court noted that the defendant failed to argue plain error on appeal.

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