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.

Instructions

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E.g., 08/08/2022
E.g., 08/08/2022

The defendant was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to 73 to 100 months in prison for shooting her boyfriend, Timothy Lee Fry, with whom she had lived for approximately three years. The evidence showed that their relationship was good at first but started to deteriorate after...

The trial court did not err in this murder case by declining to include a special jury instruction on specific intent in the final mandate. On the issue of specific intent, the trial judge gave the jury an instruction regarding voluntary intoxication and its effect on specific intent, but did...

In this robbery case, no plain error occurred with respect to the trial court’s not guilty mandate. The jury instructions for the offenses of armed and common law robbery conformed to the pattern jury instructions with one exception: the court did not expressly instruct the jury that it had a “...

No plain error occurred with respect to the trial court’s final mandate to the jury on a first-degree murder charge. The trial court instructed the jury that it could find the defendant guilty of first-degree murder as to victim Frink under the following theories: premeditation and deliberation...

Distinguishing State v. McHone, 174 N.C. App. 289, 294 (2005), the court held that no plain error occurred when the trial court failed to instruct that the jury must return a “not guilty” verdict if it was unable to conclude that the defendant committed first-degree murder on the basis...

Although the trial judge did not expressly instruct the jury that if it failed to find the required elements it must find the defendant not guilty, the defendant was not prejudiced by the trial court’s alternative final mandate language (“If you do not so find . . . you will not return a verdict...

Although the trial court erred by failing to give the final not guilty mandate, under the circumstances presented the error did not rise to the level of plain error.

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