Smith's Criminal Case Compendium

Smith's Criminal Case Compendium


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., 07/22/2024
E.g., 07/22/2024

(1) The court held that it had both jurisdiction and authority to decide whether Anders-type review should be prohibited, allowed, or required in appeals from G.S. 15A-270.1. Exercising this discretionary authority, the court held that Anders procedures apply to appeals pursuant to G.S. 15A–270.1. However, it was careful to limit its holding “to the issue before us – appeal pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 15A– 270.1.”

(2) Conducting an Anders review in this appeal from the trial court’s denial of the defendant’s motion to locate and preserve evidence and for post-conviction DNA testing pursuant to G.S. 15A-268 and 269, the court found the appeal wholly frivolous. In this homicide case the defendant argued that he did not act with premeditation and deliberation in killing the victim and did not come to her apartment with intent to commit a felony therein. The court found that these averments bear no relation to the integrity of the DNA evidence presented at trial or to the potential value of additional testing. The court also found that the defendant’s argument was “wholly at odds” with the theory presented in his motion to the trial court, that is, that the testing would prove he was not the perpetrator.

The court adopted the following standard of review of a denial for post-conviction DNA testing: Findings of fact are binding if supported by competent evidence and may not be disturbed absent an abuse of discretion; conclusions of law are reviewed de novo. 

A defendant does not have a right to appeal a trial judge’s order denying relief following a hearing to evaluate test results.

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