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

(1) Melendez-Diaz did not impact the “continuing vitality” of the notice and demand statute in G.S. 90-95(g); when the State satisfies the requirements of the statute and the defendant fails to file a timely written objection, a valid waiver of the defendant’s constitutional right to confront the analyst occurs. (2) The State’s notice under the statute in this case was deficient in that it failed to provide the defendant a copy of the report and stated only that “[a] copy of report(s) will be delivered upon request.” However, the defendant did not preserve this issue for appeal. At trial he asserted only that the statute was unconstitutional under Melendez-Diaz; he did not challenge the State’s notice under the statute. Justice Hudson dissented, joined by Justice Beasley, arguing that the majority improperly shifts the burden of proving compliance with the notice and demand statute from the State to defendant.

In this drug trafficking case, notice was properly given under the G.S. 90-95(g) notice and demand statute even though it did not contain proof of service or a file stamp. The argued-for service and filing requirements were not required by Melendez-Diaz or the statute. The notice was stamped “a true copy”; it had a handwritten notation that saying “ORIGINAL FILED,” “COPY FAXED,” and “COPY PLACED IN ATTY’S BOX.” The defendant did not argue that he did not in fact receive the notice.

The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the State’s failure to comply with the requirements of the G.S. 90-95 notice and demand statute with respect to the analyst’s report created error. In addition to failing to object to admission of the report, both the defendant and defense counsel stipulated that the pills were oxycodone. The court also rejected the defendant’s argument that his stipulation was not a knowing, voluntary and intelligent waiver of his right to confront the non-testifying analyst, noting that such a stipulation does not require the formality of a guilty plea.

A SBI forensic report identifying a substance as cocaine was properly admitted when the State gave notice under the G.S. 90-95(g) notice and demand statute and the defendant lodged no objection to admission of the report without the testimony of the preparer.

The court ordered a new trial in a drug case in which the trial court admitted laboratory reports regarding the identity, nature, and quantity of the controlled substances where the State had not complied with the notice and demand provisions in G.S. 90-95(g) and (g1). Instead of sending notice directly to the defendant, who was pro se, the State sent notice to a lawyer who was not representing the defendant at the time.

The court upheld the constitutionality of G.S. 90-95(g)’s notice and demand statute for forensic laboratory reports in drug cases. Since the defendant failed to object after the State gave notice of its intent to introduce the report without the presence of the analyst, the defendant waived his Confrontation Clause rights.

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