Smith's Criminal Case Compendium

Smith's Criminal Case Compendium

About

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., 09/26/2021
E.g., 09/26/2021

No plain error occurred in a second-degree murder case stemming from a vehicle accident after a police chase when officers testified that the defendant committed the offense of felony speeding to elude arrest and other crimes. The officer’s testimony was a shorthand statement of facts necessary to explain why the police chase ensued. Specifically, the officers testified that they were not allowed to give chase unless they observed felonious conduct. Following State v. Anthony, 354 N.C. 372, 408 (2001), the court held that the officers were not interpreting the law for the jury, but rather were testifying regarding their observations in order to explain why they pursued the defendant in a high-speed chase.

No plain error occurred when a detective testified that after his evaluation of the scene, he determined that the case involved a robbery and resulting homicide. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the trial court improperly allowed the detective to give a legal opinion, concluding that the detective merely was testifying about police procedure.

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