State v. Harris, ___ N.C. App. ___, ___ S.E.2d ___ (Dec. 31, 2020)

In a prior opinion, the Court of Appeals held that the state failed to meet its burden of showing the reasonableness of ordering the defendant to enroll in lifetime satellite-based monitoring (SBM) following his conviction for rape. The matter was before the court again for reconsideration in light of State v. Grady, ___ N.C. ___, 831 S.E.2d 542(2019). The appellate court first reviewed Grady’s holding that SBM was unconstitutional, but noted that “the decision was specific to those defendants enrolled in SBM exclusively on the basis of having attained the status of a recidivist, and for no other reason.” In the present case, the defendant was placed on SBM for committing an aggravated offense, not for being a recidivist, and the appellate court’s earlier decision to reverse the trial court’s order was “premised upon the State’s failure to meet its evidentiary burden” of showing that the “defendant posed a threat of reoffending, such that SBM would be reasonable.” Concluding that Grady was therefore inapplicable to the defendant’s case, the appellate court affirmed its earlier ruling to reverse the trial court’s order for the same reasons stated in its earlier opinion.

Judge Stroud concurred in part and dissented in part, citing to State v. Hilton, ___ N.C. App. ___, 845 S.E.2d 81 (2020), and would have affirmed the portion of the trial court’s order that imposed SBM during the period of time when the defendant is on post-release supervision, while still reversing the imposition of SBM beyond that period.