Friday, October 15, 2010

NC Supreme Court Decision, October 8, 2010

The court issued landmark decisions in the area of Satellite-Based Monitoring of sex offenders, already discussed. It also issue the following decisions:

State v. Mumford. Reversal of court of appeals.

Jury found the defendant guilty of felony serious injury by vehicle, but not guilty of the lesser included offense of DWI. The court found that this was not fatal because it was not legally contradictory, "merely inconsistent."

To invalidate a verdict, the verdict must be inconsistent and contradictory. Inconsistency is OK, as long as sufficent evidence existed to support the verdict. Only mutually exclusive verdicts (i.e. verdicts that the nature of the offense precludes guilt of the other offense) require reversal.

E.g.: In State v. Speckman, the jury found the defendant guilty of both embezzlement and obtaining property by false pretenses. 326 N.C. at 577, 391 S.E.2d at 166. This Court found the two crimes to be mutually exclusive, stating: "[T]o constitute embezzlement, the property in
question initially must be acquired lawfully, pursuant to a trust relationship, and then wrongfully converted. On the other hand, to constitute false pretenses the property must be acquired unlawfully at the outset, pursuant to a false representation. This Court has previously held that, since property cannot be obtained simultaneously pursuant to both lawful and unlawful means,
guilt of either embezzlement or false pretenses necessarily excludes guilt of the other. . . . [U]nder our law, a defendant may not be convicted of both embezzlement and false pretenses arising from the same act or transaction, due to the mutually exclusive nature of those offenses."

State v. Whittaker. N.C.G.S. 14-415.1, which prohibits convicted felons from possession firearms in any location, is does not violation the ex post facto clause and is not a bill of attainder. Finds that the firearm rule is regulatory, not punitive.

Per Curiam Decisions and Other Dispositions:

State v. Cruz. Per curiam affirmed. See post on COA opinion here.

State v. Hinson
. Per curiam reversal, for reasons stated in dissenting opinion. See post on COA opinion here.

State v. Mello. Per curiam affirmed. See post on COA opinion here.

State v. Singleton. Digged.

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