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., 09/25/2021
E.g., 09/25/2021

(1) The evidence was insufficient to convict the defendant of breaking or entering into a place of religious worship. The defendant was alleged to have broken into a place of religious worship used by Vision Phase III International Outreach Center (“Vision”), a church engaged in international missions and renting a building called the “Chapel” for the purpose of conducting its church services. Several other structures were situated behind the Chapel, including a small barn, located approximately 50 away. The property owner allowed Vision to use the barn to store equipment that could not be kept in the Chapel. The only building that the defendant was alleged to have broken into was the barn, which the State conceded was not used for religious worship. However, the State argued that the barn was within the curtilage of the Chapel, and for this reason should be deemed an extension of the Chapel for purposes of the statute. The court rejected this argument reasoning, in part, that based on the statute’s wording “it is clear” that to be convicted of breaking or entering into a place of religious worship, the specific building broken into must be a “building that is regularly used, and clearly identifiable, as a place for religious worship.” 

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