Wednesday, December 14, 2011

NC Supreme Court Criminal Decisions, 12/9/2011

State v. Slaughter. Per curiam reversal for reasons stated in dissent. See post on COA decision here.

State v. Starr. Affirming COA decision (here) of no error in failing to give jury a copy of the requested transcript during deliberations.

When a jury asked for a transcript, the judge told them that they couldn't have it because "we don't have the capability of real time transcripts so we cannot provide you with that."

Case law clearly says that giving transcripts is a discretionary decision and if the judge does not exercise discretion, the decision is erroneous. Here, the judge did not properly exercise his discretion and thus erred. However, given the error is raised on plain error, no relief, given that there is no showing of prejudice.

State v. Nabors. COA unanimously reversed a cocaine conviction, as only evidence of it being cocaine was visual inspection (here).

Defendant ran a claim at trial that Smith, rather than himself sold the drugs. He never contested that it was cocaine at trial. In fact, Smith testified for the defense that he brought cocaine and sold it to the state. This was sufficient evidence, even in the absence of lab testing. "When a defense witness's testimony characterizes a putative controlled substance as a controlled substance, the defendant cannot on appeal escape the consequences of the testimony in arguing that his motion to dismiss should have been allowed"


State v. Williamson. MAR was remanded by COA to trial court for failing to make written findings. SC noted that the trial court did make written findings and sent it back to COA for further review. See old post here.

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