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.

Instructions

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E.g., 09/22/2021
E.g., 09/22/2021

The trial court did not commit plain error by failing to define larceny in instructions it provided to the jury on burglary. Because evidence was presented permitting the inference that the defendants intended to steal property and there was no evidence suggesting that they intended to merely borrow it, the jury did not need a formal definition of the term “larceny” to understand its meaning and to apply that meaning to the evidence.

In a burglary case, the trial court did not err by failing to reiterate an instruction on the doctrine of recent possession when instructing the jury on the lesser-included offense of felonious breaking or entering. The trial court properly instructed the jury on felonious breaking and entering by describing how the elements of that offense differed from first-degree burglary, an offense for which they had already received instructions. By describing the differences in charges the trial court left the recent possession instruction intact and applicable to the lesser charge of felonious breaking and entering.

In a burglary case, instructions which allowed the jury to find the defendant guilty if they found that he intended to commit a felony larceny, armed robbery, or sexual offense did not impermissibly allow for a non-unanimous verdict.

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