Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Aggravating Circumstances Professor Robert Farb School of Government, UNC-Chapel Hill.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "Aggravating Circumstances Professor Robert Farb School of Government, UNC-Chapel Hill."— Presentation transcript:

1 Aggravating Circumstances Professor Robert Farb School of Government, UNC-Chapel Hill

2 A/C (e)(3): Prior Violent Felony Conviction Timing of prior violent felony conviction Commission of violent felony must occur before commission of first-degree murder But conviction of violent felony may occur after commission of first-degree murder

3 A/C (e)(3): Prior Violent Felony Conviction Each conviction is a separate A/C Juvenile adjudication of violent Class A through E felony qualifies as conviction

4 A/C (e)(5): Murder Committed During Specified Felony or Felonies Each felony is a separate A/C Timing of felony Felony may be committed after murder If felony occurs during continuous series of events surrounding murder

5 Effect of First-Degree Murder Verdict on Submitting A/C (e)(5): If verdict is based on both P&D and felony murder theory (e)(5) may be submitted based on: felony or felonies submitted to support felony murder verdict, as well as felony or felonies not submitted to support felony murder verdict

6 Effect of First-Degree Murder Verdict on Submitting A/C (e)(5): If verdict is based on felony murder theory only (e)(5) may not be submitted based on felony supporting felony murder theory

7 Effect of First-Degree Murder Verdict on Submitting A/C (e)(5): If verdict is based on felony murder theory only (e)(5) may be submitted for felony that judge did not submit to jury to support felony murder theory Only rape was submitted; proper to submit armed robbery Richardson, 342 N.C. 772

8 Effect of First-Degree Murder Verdict on Submitting A/C (e)(5): If verdict is based on felony murder theory only And jury finds two felonies to support theory May judge submit one of the two felonies as (e)(5)?

9 Multiple Aggravating Circumstances Generally, same evidence may not be used to support multiple A/Cs. However: No bar if overlapping evidence supports multiple A/Cs No bar if A/Cs are directed at different aspects of defendant’s character or the murder

10 Multiple Aggravating Circumstances Judge should instruct jury that it may not use same evidence to find more than one aggravating circumstance N.C.P.I.—Crim [located after instruction on (e)(11)]

11 Submission of A/Cs (e)(5) and (e)(6) (pecuniary gain) If murder conviction is based solely on felony murder theory And felony was robbery, for example Judge may not submit (e)(5) Judge may submit (e)(6) Quesinberry, 319 N.C. 228

12 Submission of A/Cs (e)(5) and (e)(6) If murder conviction is based on P&D and felony murder And felony was robbery or burglary, for example Judge may submit (e)(5) or (e)(6), but not both, if motive for (e)(5) was pecuniary gain Quesinberry; Howell, 335 N.C. 457 (burglary)

13 Submission of Both (e)(5) and (e)(6) When both (e)(5) and (e)(6) may be submitted Defendant took victim’s money and car keys to drive car away (e)(5): robbery of car keys and car (e)(6): pecuniary gain in taking money East, 345 N.C. 535 Jury instruction must clearly state which evidence is admissible for each circumstance

14 Submission of A/Cs (e)(4) and (e)(8) Involving LEO (e)(4): murder committed to avoid or prevent lawful arrest or to effect escape from custody (e)(8): murder committed against officer while engaging in performing official duty General rule: same evidence cannot support multiple aggravating circumstances

15 Submission of A/Cs (e)(4) and (e)(8) Involving LEO General rule inapplicable when A/Cs are directed at Different aspects of defendant’s character or the murder for which the defendant is to be punished

16 Submission of A/Cs (e)(4) and (e)(8) Involving LEO Both aggravating circumstances may be submitted because (e)(4) addresses defendant’s motive for murder (e)(8) addresses factual basis of murder Nicholson, 355 N.C. 1; Golphin, 352 N.C. 364; Hutchins, 303 N.C. 321

17 Submission of A/Cs (e)(7) and (e)(8) Not Involving LEO (e)(7): Murder committed to disrupt or hinder lawful exercise of government function or enforcement of laws (e)(8): Murder of witness against defendant while witness engaged in performing official duty or because of exercise of official duty

18 State v. Anthony, 354 N.C. 372 (2001) DVPO issued for wife against defendant- husband Wife scheduled to return to court, but she is murdered by defendant before court date

19 State v. Anthony, 354 N.C. 372 (2001) Rulings: Sufficient evidence for both (e)(7) and (e)(8) But error to submit both theories because they were based on the same evidence Court distinguished State v. Gray, 347 N.C. 143 (1997)

20 State v. Gray, 347 N.C. 143 (1997) (e)(7): show cause order for contempt involving accounting of marital monies in divorce action returnable a few days after murder (e)(8): wife was to be witness in four criminal charges against defendant Ruling: not error to submit both A/Cs because evidence was not identical to prove them

21 Two Prongs of (e)(8): State v. Long, 354 N.C. 534 (2001) Victim killed five days before defendant’s trial for assaulting her Two prongs of (e)(8): 1.Victim murdered while “engaged in” performance of official duties 2.Victim murdered “because” of exercise of official duty

22 Two Prongs of (e)(8): State v. Long, 354 N.C. 534 (2001) Witness’s waiting to testify may be considered under both prongs “Because” prong: State must show defendant was motivated to murder victim because she was a witness Judge may submit this prong although victim had not yet testified

23 Two Prongs of (e)(8): State v. Long, 354 N.C. 534 (2001) “Engaged in” prong: State must show victim was actively engaged at time of murder with performing duty of witness Examples: Swearing out warrant Discussing case with prosecutor Going to court to testify Actively testifying

24 Two Prongs of (e)(8): State v. Long, 354 N.C. 534 (2001) Witness is not always “engaged in” official duties During entire time period When witness swears out warrant until completion of testimony Court disavowed language in State v. Gray that implied otherwise

25 A/C (e)(11): Murder Part of Violent Course of Conduct Factors: Temporal proximity of crimes to one another Recurrent modus operandi Similar motivation Common scheme


Download ppt "Aggravating Circumstances Professor Robert Farb School of Government, UNC-Chapel Hill."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google