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., 12/04/2021
E.g., 12/04/2021

In this rape case, because the evidence was clear and positive and not conflicting with respect to penetration, the trial court did not err by failing to instruct on attempted rape. Here, among other things, a sexual assault nurse testified that the victim told her she was penetrated, the victim told the examining doctor at the hospital immediately after the attack that the defendant had penetrated her, the defendant’s semen was recovered from inside the victim’s vagina.

On remand by the NC Supreme Court for reconsideration in light of State v. Carter, 366 N.C. 496 (2013) (no plain error occurred in a child sexual offense case when the trial court failed to instruct on attempted sexual offense even though the evidence of penetration was conflicting), the court held that no plain error occurred when the trial court failed to instruct the jury on attempted second-degree rape and attempted incest when the evidence of penetration was conflicting. As in Carter, the defendant failed to show that the jury would have disregarded any portions of the victim’s testimony stating that penetration occurred in favor of instances in which she said it did not occur. Thus, the defendant failed to show a “probable impact” on the verdict.

Because evidence of vaginal penetration was clear and positive, the trial court did not err by failing to instruct the jury on attempted rape.

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