Wednesday, December 17, 2008

NC Court of Appeals Decisions (12.16.2008)

NC Court of Appeals Criminal Decisions for 12/16/08


State v. Cowan, (08-470) . Finding that admission of evidence, in a drug trafficking case, that the Defendant's aunt was previously convicted of drug trafficking was inappropriate, as such information was irrelevant. Nonetheless, the Court found such admission not to be prejudicial and ruled it harmless error.

State v. English, (08-613). Ordering a new trial where Defendant was deprived of his right to the final closing argument under Rule 10, as he did not introduce any evidence. A Defendant does not introduce evidence unless it is offered as substantive evidence or to the jury as illustrative, corroborative, or impeachment evidence. Objects offered to refresh recollection are not offered into evidence. New evidence, raised on cross, does not count as "admission of evidence," unless it is not relevant to issues already present in the case (e.g. self-defense). Here, Defendant's cross-examination of a police officer included impeaching him with prior statements and discussing aspects of his testimony, that did not present "new matter" to the jury. Because this did not constitute offering evidence, the Defendant should have been allowed the final closing argument.

Other Decisions with No Reversal

State v. Anderson, (08-67) - Double jeopardy; exploitation of minor.

State v. Bare, (08-221). No error under 403 of admission of graphic photographs of the victim's decaying corpse.

State v. Charles, (08-601) - Jury instructions, motion to dismiss, and exclusion of evidence

State v. Ford, (08-277). Note: Dissent on failure to instruct jury on common law robbery.

State v. Hussey, (08-620) - Robbery with a dangerous weapon; Sufficiency of the evidence; Pretrial identification; In-court identification; Prior record level; Stipulation

State v. Isenhour, (08-478) - Defendant alleged 4th Amendment violation and sought to exclude evidence of drugs recovered pursuant to a search of his vehicle

State v. Lawson, (07-1507) - Prosecutor closing argument; failure to include evidence; jury instructions; directed verdict of not guilty; defective indictment

State v. Wooten, (08-734) - Satellite-based monitoring; Sex offender registration; In effective assistance for counsel; Recidivist

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