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 trial court erred by finding that the defendant had “gang affiliation” and ordering gang restrictions in the judgment. G.S. 14-50.25 provides that when a defendant is found guilty of a criminal offense relevant to the statute “the presiding judge shall determine whether the offense involved criminal street gang activity.” If the judge makes this determination, then he “shall indicate on the form reflecting the judgment that the offense involved criminal street gang activity.” Here, the judge made a judicial, not clerical error, where there was no evidence to support such a finding. The court declined to reach the defendant’s argument that the statute was unconstitutional under the Apprendi line of cases (holding that any fact other than a prior conviction that elevates a sentence must be submitted to the jury).

The trial court erred by making a determination under G.S. 14-50.25 that the offenses involved criminal street gang activity outside of defendant’s presence and without giving him an opportunity to be heard; vacating and remanding for a new sentencing hearing. A finding of criminal street gang activity was a “substantive change” in the judgments that must be made in defendant’s presence and with an opportunity to be heard.

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