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

Navigate using the table of contents to the left or by using the search box below. Use quotations for an exact phrase search. A search for multiple terms without quotations functions as an “or” search. Not sure where to start? The 5 minute video tutorial offers a guided tour of main features – Launch Tutorial (opens in new tab).

E.g., 06/13/2024
E.g., 06/13/2024

In this case concerning the Fifth Amendment’s Double Jeopardy Clause, Damian McElrath petitioned for relief after the Supreme Court of Georgia held its state’s repugnancy doctrine allowed the retrial of McElrath for malice murder after the jury returned a verdict of not guilty by reason of...

Citing the text of the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment, historical evidence, and “170 years of precedent,” the Court refused to overturn the “dual-sovereignty” doctrine and held that the defendant’s federal prosecution for unlawful possession of a handgun was not barred by...

When a defendant agrees to have charges against him considered in two trials, he cannot later successfully argue that the second trial offends the Double Jeopardy Clause. Facing trial on charges of burglary, grand larceny, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, defendant Michael...

The issue-preclusion component of the Double Jeopardy Clause does not bar the Government from retrying the defendants after a jury has returned irreconcilably inconsistent verdicts of conviction and acquittal and the convictions are later vacated on appeal because of error in the judge’s...

The Double Jeopardy Clause bars Puerto Rico and the United States from successively prosecuting a single person for the same conduct under equivalent criminal laws. Puerto Rican prosecutors indicted the defendant for illegally selling firearms in violation of the Puerto Rico Arms Act of 2000....

Double jeopardy barred the State’s appeal of a trial court order dismissing charges for insufficiency of the evidence. After numerous continuances granted to the State because of its inability to procure its witnesses for trial, the defendant’s case was finally called for trial. When the trial...

Evans v. Michigan, 568 U.S. 313 (Feb. 20, 2013)

When the trial court enters a directed verdict of acquittal based on a mistake of law the erroneous acquittal constitutes an acquittal for double jeopardy purposes barring further prosecution. After the State rested in an arson prosecution, the trial court entered a directed verdict of acquittal...

Double Jeopardy did not bar retrying the defendant on charges of capital and first-degree murder. Before the jury concluded deliberations, it reported that it was unanimous against guilt on charges of capital and first-degree murder but was deadlocked on manslaughter and had not voted on...

Renico v. Lett, 559 U.S. 766 (May. 3, 2010)

The Michigan Supreme Court’s decision concluding that the defendant’s double jeopardy rights were not violated by a second prosecution after a mistrial on grounds of jury deadlock was not an unreasonable application of federal law. The state high court had elaborated on the standard for manifest...

Yeager v. United States, 557 U.S. 110 (June 18, 2009)

An apparent inconsistency between a jury’s verdict of acquittal on some counts and its failure to return a verdict on other counts does not affect the preclusive force of the acquittals under the double jeopardy clause. In this case, the defendant was charged with both fraud and insider trading...

Bobby v. Bies, 556 U.S. 825 (June 1, 2009)

Nearly ten years before the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002) (Eighth Amendment bars execution of mentally retarded defendants), the defendant was tried for murder and other crimes. The defendant was found guilty and, after being instructed to...

In this Bertie County case, the defendant was charged with first-degree murder and felony possession of a weapon by a prisoner for an alleged fight at Bertie Correctional Institution that left another inmate dead. After court adjourned on the first day of the defendant’s trial, one of the...

State v. Pabon, 273 N.C.App. 645, 850 S.E.2d 512 (Oct. 6, 2020) modified and affirmed on other grounds, 2022-NCSC-16, 867 S.E.2d 632 (Feb 11 2022)

In this Cabarrus County case, the defendant was convicted of first-degree kidnapping and second-degree rape. After developing a friendship with the victim, he drugged her without her knowledge, took her to a friend’s house and raped her. The defendant appealed, raising numerous challenges.

...

In this Watauga County case for indecent liberties, the defendant was accused of improper contact with a child in an incident allegedly witnessed by the child’s sister and mother. The State sought to compel the mother and two daughters to testify at trial. After jury was impaneled and opening...

State. v. Courtney, 372 N.C. 458 (Aug. 16, 2019)

On discretionary review of a unanimous decision of the Court of Appeals, ___ N.C. App. ___ (2018), the court affirmed the Court of Appeals’ decision vacating the defendant’s conviction on double jeopardy grounds. In this murder case, the defendant’s first trial ended in a mistrial due to a...

State v. Banks, 367 N.C. 652 (Dec. 19, 2014)

Because the defendant was properly convicted and sentenced for both statutory rape and second-degree rape when the convictions were based on a single act of sexual intercourse, counsel was not ineffective by failing to make a double jeopardy objection. The defendant was convicted of statutory...

For the reasons stated in the dissenting opinion below, the court reversed State v. McKenzie, 225 N.C. App. 208 (Jan. 15, 2013), which had held, over a dissent, that prosecuting the defendant for DWI violated double jeopardy where the defendant previously was subjected to a one-year...

In this Dare County case, defendant appealed his convictions for statutory rape, statutory sex offense, indecent liberties, and kidnapping, arguing (1) plain error in denying his motion to suppress evidence, (2) ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to object to the introduction of that...

In this Pitt County case, defendant appealed his convictions, arguing double jeopardy as DWI is a lesser included offense of felony serious injury by vehicle. The Court of Appeals arrested judgment on the DWI conviction, but found no prejudicial error justifying remand for resentencing. 

...

In this Brunswick County case, defendant appealed denial of his motion to dismiss the murder charge against him, arguing that it represented double jeopardy. The Court of Appeals granted certiorari to review defendant’s interlocutory appeal, and affirmed the trial court’s denial of the motion....

In this Brunswick County case, defendant appealed denial of her motion to dismiss the murder charge against her, arguing that it represented double jeopardy. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s denial of the motion. The facts of this case are substantially similar to...

The defendant was charged with insurance fraud and obtaining property by false pretenses based on her submission of claims for living expenses that she did not incur. Following Hurricane Matthew, the defendant submitted a lease agreement purportedly signed by her stepfather providing that...

The defendant was convicted of accessory after the fact to a felony and felony obstruction of justice in Cleveland County relating to her efforts to assist a murder suspect (later convicted of second-degree murder) evade capture. (1) The defendant argued the statutory offense of accessory after...

The defendant was convicted of first-degree murder based on felony murder, attempted first-degree murder, felonious discharge of a firearm into an occupied vehicle in operation, and two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. The defendant’s brother was the shooter and was convicted...

After getting into an argument at a holiday party, the defendant fired a warning shot from a rifle into the air and then fired a single shot into a moving vehicle occupied by two people, striking one of them in the neck and seriously injuring him. Defendant was subsequently convicted and...

The defendant was convicted of and received consecutive sentences for assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury (ADWISI) and assault by a prisoner with a deadly weapon inflicting bodily injury based on the same act of stabbing another prisoner. The Court of Appeals rejected the...

Because misdemeanor larceny and simple assault are lesser included offenses of common law robbery, the trial court erred by sentencing the defendant for all three offenses. The court rejected the State’s argument that the defendant was not prejudiced by this error because all three convictions...

On the particular facts of the case, the trial court’s erroneous entry of judgment of not guilty by reason of insanity did not create a jeopardy bar to further proceedings. The trial court’s order did not constitute an acquittal to which jeopardy attached. Its order, which dismissed the charges...

In this murder case, the court succinctly rejected the defendant’s argument that he could not be retried for murder after his first trial ended in a hung jury. It noted that courts have long held that the prohibition against double jeopardy does not apply when the prior trial ended in a hung...

(1) The evidence was sufficient to sustain a conviction for obtaining property by false pretenses. After the defendant falsely reported that his girlfriend had written 3 checks on his account without authorization, he received a provisional credit on his bank account with respect to one of the...

In this sex offender registration case, double jeopardy barred convictions under both G.S. 14-208.11(a)(2) and (a)(7). The defendant was convicted of two separate crimes: one pursuant to G.S. 14-208.11(a)(2) (failure to notify the last registering sheriff of a change in address) and one pursuant...

The court vacated the defendant’s attempted murder conviction on double jeopardy grounds. The defendant was originally charged and indicted for attempted murder of his wife. After the trial began, the trial court, over the defendant’s objection, ruled that the indictment was fatally defective...

No violation of double jeopardy occurred where the defendant was convicted of attempted larceny and attempted common law robbery when the offenses arose out of the same incident but involved different victims. The defendant committed the attempted larceny upon entering the home in question with...

No double jeopardy violation occurs when the State retries a defendant on a charging instrument alleging the correct offense date after a first charge was dismissed due to a fatal variance.

The trial court did not err by entering a civil no contact order against the defendant pursuant to G.S. 15A-1340.50 (permanent no contact order prohibiting future contact by convicted sex offender with crime victim). The court held, among other things, that because the order was civil in nature...

Because the defendant failed to object to the declaration of a mistrial in his noncapital case, he failed to preserve his double jeopardy claim.

The trial court did not err by denying the defendant’s pre-trial motion to dismiss a charge of felonious possession of stolen property on double jeopardy grounds. Although the defendant was indicted for felony possession of stolen property (a Toyota truck) under G.S. 14-71.1, at the first trial...

Show Table of Contents