Tuesday, September 17, 2013

COA Update, Sept. 17, 2013

This post only highlights cases I found interesting.

State v. Barnes. -- Wayne County, Christopher Barnes.

Defendant properly convicted for possession controlled substance in jail. Defendant argued that there was no intent, as he was brought to jail involuntarily. Court held that knowing was enough, no intent needed to be shown beyond that.


McGee dissents.

State v. Carr. -- Cumberland County, James Carr.

No error in failing to strike juror who said he had a friend murdered in the 1980s and that "he thing that affects me is there seems to be loopholes when a person is guilty and the loopholes allow them to get out of it, and I don’t think that’s justice.” When defense counsel asked, “And that you would not be able to put your feeling about loopholes completely aside and, therefore, you don’t think you could be fair and impartial in this case" Juror 4 responded, “Correct.”

No error because the juror then later said they would follow the law.

Basic rule of jury selection: if you say you can follow the law, then nothing else matters, no matter how much bias you admit..

State v. Jackson. -- Mecklenburg County, Damian Jackson.

Held that a show-up identification was impermissibly suggestive where police took defendant out of a car, shined a light on him, and told the victim "we think we found the guy." 

However, the in-court ID was admissible because other factors showing reliability -- the encounter lasted 5 minutes (which the court seems to say means she had a good opportunity to view the assailant), the pre-ID description somewhat matched (5'9" with dreadlocks wearing a white tank top and gray sweatpants -- the court says his clothing didn't match this but doesn't tell us exactly how) and she was "100%" sure.

Effective Outcome: show-ups, while disfavored and unreliable, will always be admissible, because the court can hang its hat on anything to protect the arrest.

State v. Kirkwood. -- Johnston County, Alphonso Kirkwood and Larell McDaniel

No double jeopardy problem in convicting defendant of three counts of shooting into occupied property, even though the shots were fired in quick succession, because they hit different parts of the house and were fired from a revolver which had to be cocked each time it was fired.

State v. Tinney. -- Moore County, Andrew Tinney.

Inclusion of an invalid plea appeal term (including the right to appeal the waiver from juvenile court) did not render the plea invalid. While normally that would (if the plea includes the right to appeal something that cannot be appealed), in this case the Court questioned the defendant on the issue and informed him that the provision was likely unenforceable. Because the defendant knew this and proceeded anyway, the plea was not invalid.


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