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

The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the trial court’s judgment finding him guilty of Class D discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling is inconsistent with the jury verdict. Specifically, the defendant argued that the jury only found him guilty of the Class E version of the offense. The court found that the record showed otherwise, notwithstanding the fact that the trial court instructed the jury with respect to shooting into a specified “house.”

Ordering a new trial because of a defective verdict form. On the verdict form, the jury answered “Yes” to each of these questions: “Did the defendant possess cocaine, a controlled substance, with the intent to sell or deliver it? Did the defendant sell cocaine, a controlled substance, to Officer Eugene Ramos?” Because the verdict form did not include the words “guilty” or “not guilty,” the jury did not fulfill its constitutional responsibility to make an actual finding of defendant’s guilt. The verdict form only required the jury to make factual findings on the essential elements of the crimes; it thus was a “true special verdict” and could not support the judgment.

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