Main Content

Criminal Law Simons, Volume III

State v. Norman

As you read Norman, consider the following questions:

  1. What crime was Judy Norman charged with? What happened at trial? In the Court of Appeals? What is the issue on appeal? What is the North Carolina Supreme Court’s holding?
  2. What are the facts of the case? What did Judy Norman believe about the imminence of the threat she was facing from her husband at the time she shot him? Was her belief reasonable? Should her belief be evaluated objectively or subjectively? Should her “situation” include the abuse that she had suffered? Should it include the effects that that abuse had on her mental health (e.g., battered spouse syndrome)?
  3. Regardless of the particular definition of self-defense in North Carolina, do you think Judy Norman should have been convicted of murder? Why?