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Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – Detention During Search – Separating Occupants for Questioning – Miranda – Transcript – Jury Request (access required)

State v. Garcia Defendant was present at an apartment that was being searched pursuant to a warrant. Defendant’s detention during the search did not become an arrest when he was moved from the den to the bathroom for questioning or when he was read his Miranda rights prior to questioning. We affirm the trial court’s denial of defendant’s motion to suppress. We find no error in defendant’s conviction of trafficking in cocaine by possession.

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Criminal Practice – Sentencing – Aggravating Factor – Law Enforcement Victim – Defendant’s Knowledge – Second Degree Murder – Miranda – Batson (access required)

State v. Carter The aggravating factor set out in G.S. § 15A-1340.16(d)(6) applies when the offense is committed against a law enforcement officer “engaged in the performance of that person’s official duties or because of the exercise of that person’s official duties.” Since the state proved that the victim was engaged in the performance of his duties as a law enforcement officer, it did not need to show that defendant knew the victim was a law enforcement officer. We find no error in defendant’s conviction of second-degree murder.

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Miranda ruling: Not just for kids? (access required)

The U.S. Supreme Court’s precedent-setting decision last week on Miranda standards for juveniles may extend to some adult cases, too. That’s the opinion of North Carolina defense attorneys, who say they now have a powerful opinion to point to when challenging confessions elicited from all defendants under 18. The reason: in North Carolina and a handful of other states, some teens as young as 16 can be tried as adults.

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High court considers whether age affects ‘Miranda’ rights in NC case (access required)

"You are free to leave" is a statement that seems easy enough to understand. But when those words are told to a young person at school, does the child's age make a difference under Miranda v. Arizona? That's the question the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court considered March 23 during oral arguments in J.D.B v. North Carolina. The case involves a 13-year-old special education student who was questioned by police at his Chapel Hill middle school about recent burglaries in which a digital camera and jewelry were stolen.

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Case on Miranda warnings in schools goes to highest court (access required)

A case out of North Carolina about to go before the U.S. Supreme Court could set a precedent on whether a juvenile's age should be considered in a Miranda custody analysis. Marsha Levick (pictured), deputy director and chief counsel of the Philadelphia-based Juvenile Justice Center, said that although the question before the court is limited to age, her organization was also interested in the fact that the case involved an interrogation on school property. Levick said it was important to raise the issue of the school setting to help give the justices a context in which to view the case.

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Criminal Practice – Juvenile – Miranda & Statutory Warnings – Custodial Interrogation – School Principal & Resource Officer (access required)

In re K.D.L. A 12-year-old boy's rights were violated when he was suspected of owning a bag of marijuana found in a classroom, he was questioned by the principal for six hours - most of that time in the presence of the school resource officer - and he was never warned of his Miranda or statutory juvenile rights. We reverse the trial court's denial of the juvenile's motion to suppress his statements. We vacate the adjudication of delinquency and remand for further proceedings.

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