State v. Robinson (Lawyers Weekly No. 15-06-1158, 4 pp.) (Court in conference) (Sam Ervin IV, J., not participating) Appealed from Cumberland County). N.C. S. Ct.
Holding: Although the state had been granted two previous continuances and had received data and a summary report from respondent, a month before respondent’s hearing, he provided the state with the final version of a study that placed the state in the position of defending the peremptory challenges that the state had exercised in capital prosecutions over a 20-year period. Under these circumstances, the trial court abused its discretion in denying the state’s motion for a third continuance.
We vacate the trial court’s motion granting respondent’s motion for appropriate relief and remand for reconsideration.
Continuing this matter to give the state more time would have done no harm to respondent, whose remedy under the Racial Justice Act was a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Fundamental fairness required that the state have an adequate opportunity to prepare for this unusual and complex proceeding.-