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., 06/30/2022
E.g., 06/30/2022

The defendant was on trial for four counts of embezzlement when she attempted to commit suicide by ingesting 60 Xanax tablets during an evening recess. The defendant was found unresponsive, taken to the hospital, and involuntarily committed for evaluation and treatment. The trial was...

The trial court violated the defendant’s constitutional right to presence at every stage of the trial by failing to disclose a note from the jury to the defendant. However, the error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.

Where the defendant voluntarily ingested a large quantity of sedative, hypnotic or anxiolytic medications and alcohol during the jury deliberation stage of his non-capital trial, he voluntarily waived his constitutional right to be present.

The trial court did not err by denying a motion to dismiss asserting that the defendant was deprived of his constitutional rights due to his involuntary absence at trial. The defendant was missing from the courtroom on the second day of trial and reappeared on the third day. To explain his...

The court rejected the defendant’s argument that he had an absolute right to waive the right to be present at trial. The court noted that no such right exists.

The trial court did not err when, after the defendant failed to appear during trial, he explained to the jury that the trial would proceed in the defendant’s absence. The trial judge instructed the jury that the defendant’s absence was of no concern with regard to its job of hearing the evidence...

(1) The trial court did not err by failing to instruct the jury about the defendant’s absence from the habitual felon phase of the trial. Because the trial court did not order the defendant removed from the courtroom, G.S. 15A-1032 did not apply. Rather, the defendant asked to be removed. (2)...

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