Smith's Criminal Case Compendium

Smith's Criminal Case Compendium


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., 09/25/2022
E.g., 09/25/2022

No plain error occurred when the trial court in its preliminary instructions before jury selection referred to reasonable doubt as “fair doubt” but correctly defined that term in its final instructions to the jury.

State v. Foye, 220 N.C. App. 37 (Apr. 17, 2012)

The trial court did not commit plain error in its jury instruction on reasonable doubt. When reinstructing on this issue, the trial court gave the pattern instruction and added: “[r]emember, nothing can be proved 100 percent basically, but beyond a reasonable doubt. So you have to decide for yourself what is reasonable, what makes sense.” The court also held that this additional instruction did not violate the trial court’s duty of impartiality or coerce a verdict.


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