Friday, February 25, 2011

All Bets are Off

This photo was made in November by Oli Scarff/Getty Images.
Quite telling indeed, a slice of time just a few months ago with a relaxed cool smile as if life were actually good, and not a series of real awareness transfers. Now, right now, independent reports coming out of Libya are saying that the death toll of Libyan citizens at the hand of Qaddafi (seen above with the same hand held by our commander in chief) and his military is well into the thousands, with thousands more injured.  

All bets are off.  King Abdullah stands to the right and behind President Barack Obama.  Photographer unidentified. 
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia recently returned to the Arabian Peninsula after being abroad receiving the world's best medical treatment for that which ails him.  That means he was out of the country early last week when he ordered the 50 mile pull back of the Saudi Arabian border with Yemen and the evacuation of around about 100,000 Saudis.   Those paying attention in Germany are aware that Yemen's American backed government and military are finished, it is down to a matter of only a few weeks. Once that happens, Saudi Arabia is logically next.  At that time all bets on oil prices are off and within hours crude could easily hit $200-300 In God We Trust Units a barrel, or 6-7 at the pump if it could be found at all.

The King knows this, as does the rest of the world.  In an effort to change the now, the King recently announced that he was throwing $35,000,000,000 at the problem.  That's right $35,000,000,000 (with a 'b'), has been given to the Saudi people by their King in the form of benefits supporting the four pillars of life.  Something like 20,000,000 Saudi citizens are qualified to start applying for what is in it for them.  The list of benefits is long, as you can imagine with the account holding $35,000,000,000.  Just one example of the new plan that started yesterday: If you are a Saudi citizen anywhere in the world, you can walk into any University and receive your education paid for by the monies the King has put up.  Monies that has come from the sale of oil.

Saudis in general should be okay with this plan as they move through life trying to figure out what they can get.  The question is, what about all of the extremely poor immigrants living in Saudi Arabia doing the jobs that the Saudis do not want to do, like trash removal, landscaping and so on?  That class of human will not be part of the $35,000,000,000 Arabian Bail Out.  Will they simply sit back and watch everyone else prosper or will we eventually start hearing about protests in Saudi Arabia?  For sure we will not be able to miss that one when it happens because we are obviously intrinsically attached to the outcome, we have been for a long time.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Transfer

Meet Gabriel, like the archangel in the first book ever written as a true collection of the experience of being, just being and being okay with how that being state makes you feel.
Of course I would find this Sudanese fellow (thanks to Jwaye, a word I learned in Haiti), the way the open door takes me when I just ride towards it, not planned, for I do not con troll it, I am merely making my way through it.  Keeping up is not difficult, choosing not to is.  I want you to meet a shaman as well, that way feelings will be embraced, not shunned. 
When Gabriel was six years old in 1986, he was recruited by the army in the south.  Three years later, whence he was nine (three years younger than Mein Schatz), he was shot in the left hand by the enemy.  When I asked him who the enemy was that shot him, he responded, "The north, of course."  Gabriel's AK-47, or better yet 7.62mm wound through the hand gave him transfer to London where he was healed.  Then he found his way  back to The Dark Continent to continue the fight that had killed his father before he wound up in the USA via Havana, Cuba.  There is so much more, however the 5th dimension diminishes all of us, no matter how cool or winner we think we are.  This one may take time, but I will bring you the story of a lost child of the Sudan in the near future.  First, Gabriel and I are going to share some Injera and Awaze on the morrow, then I will get back to you, my lovely audience.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

MUSTACHE RACE

This shot was made sometime during spring of 2000 at the gates leading into Brevard Court, one of the oldest sections still remaining in Charlotte North Carolina.  The photographer is presumably retired CMPD Officer Jimmy Horne's daughter, however that has not been confirmed.  
And the Winner is, Jimmy Horne with the white lip.  For whatever reason Charlie is reportedly happy with his loss as evident with the shit eating grin on his mug.  Grinning like a mule eating briars, picture that metaphor for a moment.  As a side note, up until recently I thought the saying was, like a mule eating broth.  Thank goodness Swazy corrected me for the umpteenth time on that one.  For the last I dunno, like twenty years or so, every time I used that phrase, I just kept visualizing a large mule sipping on a white ceramic bowl of broth.  Go figure.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Image of the Week

From left to right: CMPD Officers Mike 'Cooch' Cucinella and Charles Walker. 
The Header Image you have been looking at for the past little bit has been this shot I made on Officer Walker's last day on the beat.  To me it is an interesting close up and very real perspective of two public officers of the law, a generation apart.  Black and white adds to the contrast of a fraction of a second in time at a specific place, in this case the exact heart center of Charlotte North Carolina.  These guys are the real deal and have built their lives around a profession that I am glad others are getting paid to do.  

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bike Friendly Multiple Choice Pop Quiz Thursday

Yesterday midday I spotted this bicycle being ridden multiple times up and down the 100 block of North Tryon.  Hundreds of successful young professionals were out and about enjoying a glimpse of the fair atmospheric condition.  Back and forth, forth and back.  Seeing, and being seen seeing.   
Question 1:  After riding up and down one block of the Charlotte Uptoon scene during lunch hour yesterday, why did Little Hat leave his bicycle locked perfectly parallel to Tryon in front of the Ivey's Building? 

A.) He knew that I have a Hipstamatic Camera App for my eyephone.
B.) The color scheme on the bike matched the Qdoba almost perfectly.
C.) This rider just scored a part-time job slicing tomatoes at Qdoba and he plans to use his front wheel as the tool for his newly acquired trade. 
D.) Little Hat (Cooch's nephew) has been tasked with an undercover operation designed to show how cool it is to lock to an actual bike rack instead of the benches or other random city property.
E.) All of the above.

Yesterday as well, I found this little two wheeled bute locked to one of the racks provided in front of the Mecklenburg County Courthouse. 
 Question 2:  What reason(s) did this dedicated local cyclist give when I asked him about the functionality of the standard leaf rake attached to his bike?

A.) I had a rake, some electrical cord, and a small amount of duct tape, the rest is creation.
B.) For Halloween I was a male witch, brooms are for women.
C.) You've seen how much those SKS fenders retail for, this rake did not cost me anything and it works, sort of.
D.)  Someone tried to tell me that cardboard is two words.
E.)  All of the above.

For playing today I present to you, an IMAGE BONUS even though it is low eyephone quality:  Cryo-Fish me a river.  Recently Ms. Arcen was camping out in the country at her little friend's house.  While she was gone, one of her orange fish made the inner light transfer and wound up at the bottom of the tank completely dead.  I felt bad because a few years ago that little fella was actually birthed in the tank it now rested in.  So, in an effort to be sure that Mein Schatz could make closure with the death of her small scaly cold blooded friend, I took the body from the tank and placed it in a small glass of tank water.  Then I placed the glass in the freezer and by the next morning wallah, I could show her the body and she could keep it as long as she wanted.  This spring we plan to set the fish cube out on the stone wall to give the cats something to figure out. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

This Week's 'In case you missed it'

A Marine carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of Cpl. Lucas T. Pyeatt, late on Feb. 7, 2011 at Dover Air Force Base, Del. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)

According the the Defense Department, two days prior, on February 5, 2011 Cpl. Lucas Pyeatt was killed in Helmand Province Afghanistan while conducting combat operations.  Pyeatt was with the 2nd Radio Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force of the 2nd Mar Div based out of Camp Lejeune North Carolina. 

Sean Finnegan once stated, "The real question is, what else is happening right now?"

Synchronicity is all around me, it is constant and infinitely powerful.  On Monday February 7, a friend of mine was flying back to Charlotte from Phoenix Arizona.  While the oblivious masses boarded the plane at the gate, this friend looked out of the window and saw a cardboard protected coffin being loaded.  As the box made its way up the conveyor into the hold, a Marine in dress blues stood silently on the tarmac and slowly saluted his comrades ascension.  The Marine in dress blues then quietly boarded the plane himself.  There was no announcement made to the passengers of this flight from Phoenix to Charlotte. Most of them were too caught up in whatever separation decoys that they create to notice their own awareness, let alone what is really going on around them.  However, I am confident that several folks, including my little buddy were smart enough to make the connection that the body of a U.S. Marine killed in our latest war was flying with them.  I am truly glad that I was not on that flight in trade of what it actually was.  With my life experiences thus far and the way I see and feel what is really going on around me, there is a chance, a true possibility as I imagine being there, that I would have pulled the crazy card and walked off the plane before it even took off.

When my friend returned from his trip, the story about flying with two Marines was the first thing he mentioned.  It took me some time, but by that afternoon I had identified the only Marine body that was returned to the east coast on February 7.   Once in Charlotte, Pyeatt's body would have been turned over to the 145th Air Lift Wing of the North Carolina Air National Guard for the final flight to Dover Delaware. 

To the family and friends of Cpl. Lucas Pyeatt, as well as the rest of the world, I am completely sorry that war in the name of it all has taken Lucas away.  I am sending energy your way and have thought about his sacrifice every day since I learned of it.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

CMPD Retires a 30 year veteran and an Honest Cop

On Friday, after all of the public ceremony celebrating the end of his 30 year career with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Charlie Walker gave me some standing time to make this portrait of him.

Earlier in the day, a few minutes before noon, friends and curious public surrounded this officer of the law which brought out that amazing smile that Cedar referenced.
Half a minute before high noon, Charlie steps out like Gary Cooper on The Square to stop traffic for the last time on duty. 
At precisely high noon, in the exact center of Charlotte North Carolina, Cooch, his giant replacement officially takes The Square beat from Charlie with a handshake, grunt and a Salute that I missed with the shutter because I was too busy wiping the tears off of my face.
With another smile and a light foot Charlie steps off of his beat for the last time of his career. 

It was July 3, 1998 when I rolled into town with my first job on my back after spending the previous eight years on the right corporate track.  On Tryon, at Stonewall stood two officers watching me fumble at the red light.   I watched them for a minute. They were squared away in clean uniforms, their badges and belts glistened in the sun.  It occurred to me that they were scanning me as if they did not know who I was because they had never seen me before.  At that point I thought to myself, It might be a good idea to go over and introduce yourself.  So I did, and within a minute I met Charlie Walker and Jimmy Horne.

Eye contact, and real communication led to the discovery of a friendship within the confines of a city where we both operate the sources of our living.  You'd think that a relationship between a police officer and a bicycle messenger might be a little stressed by the differences in work responsibility.  Not in this case, not one bit.  From that very first day I talked to him, Charlie seemed to hold what I was doing with the same respect I felt for the job that he was doing.

Of course I realize that donning a bullet proof vest and strapping on the loaded .40cal  daily to go to work requires a ton more testicular fortitude than I could ever imagine mustering myself.  However, there is something potentially life threatening about being on bicycle in the asphalt nation as well, I felt like Charlie got it.  Over the years as I watched this officer of the law walk his beat, interact with people and enforce the letter of the law when need be I gained an honest respect for the man and the position that he held.

Congratulations Charlie, for completing 30 years of honorable service in such a dangerous line of work!

*Blog Author's note to all fauxsengers drawing attention to my career choice in the greater Charlotte area:

 Charlie Walker's replacement is Cooch, he is over eight feet tall and can shoot balls of fire out of his arse.  If you are riding around uptown and see him, you may want to think about introducing yourself.  Really talking with a cop could start a relationship that lasts for years.  I know this for sure, I have already experienced the phenomenon first hand.

Friday, February 11, 2011

STOP

Of course I mean, PRIDE in the name of love.

Intrinsic Obsolescence-Reality Check

Well, it's Friday and my job is so thoroughly enjoyable that I wish Monday was tomorrow.  In three sessions yesterday I was fortunate enough to see the new Zeitgeist film, Moving Forward.  To me, the first Zeitgeist film was completely brilliant and reaffirmed some of my feelings related to the big picture, the one I can see when I take a step back and simply look at it for what it is.  Feeling what is going on around me is no conspiracy, nor is having a thought based on that observation.

This second film is quite telling as well.  Different than the first, Moving Forward picks up in the now to see just how far progress has actually brought us towards the future.  Not us as individuals but as a collective culture existing on earth, a closed finite resource.  I do not want to give away too much about this film or sway you about it.  Instead, I highly recommend that each and everyone of you take the time to watch the document and make your own connections to what is really going on around us.  Oh, and of course if you missed the first one, it is available as well and as far as I am concerned is a must see.  No particular order of viewing is recommended...


Zeitgeist

[tsahyt-gahyst] Show IPA

–noun German .
the spirit of the time; general trend of thought or feeling characteristic of a particular period of time





Check out this smart handsome fellow with white paws.  Here is the email note exactly as I received it yesterday afternoon.  Sorry for the crappy image, I did not take it, I am only sharing it.  If you or anyone you know can help with a permanent safe home for this guy please contact me at whereonearthisbill@gmail.com and I will connect you to the source.  A soldier is going away and needs our help.  Please spread the word, this is a really smart dog. 

FREE BOXER: 
10 month old boy boxer. Neutered. House trained. Comes with crate and all toys. Free.
Owner in military, leaving for desert.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fate and Transfer

Mubarak is about to die in Egypt, just like he claimed with ownership and control. You are most certainly right little buddy, thinking is useless. I say feeling is where it's at...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Laptop Round Up for the Real Report, PLUS, well, I am not sure but it is related to more Urban Wild Kingdom

This morning, the regularly smiling Luiguuy met me in the same turnabout that he did just a week and a half ago
The drop off and pick up today totaled one old Compaq that needed a bit of a boost as well as 100 In God We Trust Units.  Shannon A. Warded this project her machine and her friend not to mention all around AWESOME(like the strap) guy King Jimmy threw in the Benjamin note.  Both of the drops to Luiguuy theoretically equal, three functioning laptops, one desktop hard drive and 100 US Dollars to go towards the operating expense of such a transfer.  There is a man leaving this Friday from Miami that will carry the hardware to Pastor Lyonel in PAP.  From there, the Pastor will take the machines out to Barbancourt.

Recently I have been in contact with a local organization notably called,  Hackerspace.  One of their ambassadors, a fine bike riding fellow has agreed to help with the ongoing project and may have access to a pallet load of laptops for donation.   You may be hearing and seeing a lot more of this group from the Queen City.  When the aliens finally attack and the internet goes down, my contact has assured me that he will create a network that will have allow me access to the Traffic Stop.  Luiguuy himself, and perhaps myself as well will be heading to Haiti at the end of March.  It would be nice to have luggage full of some more laptops that will help provide a primary school with a computer education lab that presently is just forming.  So, send me a laptop and I will hook you up with some lint from Dicky's dryer, free of charge. 

As for the Wild Kingdom Part, I lost the image I made of the evidence which means you were NEVER supposed to see it.  But trust me, it was bad.  Normally I would go into a way too descriptive detail about what I saw, not this evening.

Ms. Arcen was baby sitting a few small Spanish speaking children in the bright sunlight of our back yard the day before yesterday.  All of a sudden she called for me and asked for my help in getting the young'uns away from the round metal table that they were about to have a snack on.  The completely oblivious wee ones wanted to know what was going on, while I watched my kid remain calm and tell them, "Trust me, you don't wanna know."

They had not seen what Mein Schatz had seen.  When I arrived, just as my brave child had relocated the picnic of nuts, water and grapes to the barn,  I saw something very disturbing.  It was a sun cooked pile of our cat Yancey's vomit upchuck.  She is fat in the winter, skinny in the summer and yes, she is named after Yancey Ridge, the first place I went riding in the mountains a long time ago.  In the top left of the medium solar radiation cooked mucous accumulation was a mouse's head, almost perfectly intact.  The head was bodiless, only entrails and a small amount of brown stuff connected the front bit to the hind quarters, which were almost perfectly intact like the head and face whiskers.  Honestly, I almost puked.  However there was no emotional sadness transfer because the creature had been dead for hours inside the cat's gut.  Long dead for sure.  Sorry I lost the image that I had created for your viewing pleasure.

The cat has been reprimanded, but for certain she shall kill again on the morrow.

Speaking of Yancey, the killer of creatures smaller than she is...bitch ass cat.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Innovator of the Month

As you can imagine, this job offers an extraordinary and mobile look at the culture of a modern city in America.  The other day, whilst sitting on one of the large comfy chairs made of a former cow's hide in the lobby of THE Bank of America's Corporate Center not eating or drinking, I spied this approaching citizen pulling a plastic bag over their head.  By design, this one plastic Harris Teeter shopping bag winds up in the landfill, then it is carried by a strong westerly breeze and upper air currents all the way to the coastal waters near the shore. There, a confused turtle thinking that the translucent entity floating in front it is a delicious jellyfish tries to swallow the bag. Alone, with no one there to witness, the once happy turtle chokes and dies.  In the meantime, shopping is convenient and easily thrown away by the million daily.  And, as an added bonus, in a pinch without the thought of consequence, the throw away becomes active protection for those worried about the condition of their hair.
Upon closer inspection it turns out that the Traffic Stop's Innovator of the Month is a guy.  His hair must be better than mine. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

otherwise

oth·er·wise

[uhth-er-wahyz] Show IPA
–adverb
1.
under other circumstances: Otherwise they may get broken.
 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

34F and Rain blowing constant

This image came out of my digital tray from late 2009. 
From my perspective as a bicycle messenger, Friday was theoretically as winter season painful as it gets while on the job.  Consecutive late summer days of car exhaust hate Code Red over a hundred degrees Fahrenheit can hurt as well, but nothing compares to yesterday's all day combination of just above freezing temperatures, and cascading wind blown rain.  While riding around covering the schedule and an occasional call, the wet is fairly easy to keep off of my torso.  Within minutes though, the rain runs down my exposed legs below my knee contacting three layers of socks.  After another few minutes, my feet are wet from the inside of my socks all the way outward to the saturated shoes perpetually rotating basic wind chill forward in the 34F rain.  Not long after my feet become that cold and wet, they hurt sending messages to my brain housing group to shift thought on to anything else.

Like my hands for instance.  No matter how hard I try to keep them warm, dry and happy, they too become victim to the cold water.  It takes a little while for the rain to get passed my gore over mitts and thick windproof fleece mittens, but when it does it will remain against my hands for the rest of the day.  My face cheeks are rosy red wet popping out from under the hood of my jacket, and I am conscious of my hands as I spin my way down the hill to the courthouse again.  But, at least they do not feel as bad as my feet.  Once again my feet are telling my brain to please consider anything else at that point. 

Coming to my mind this time was Egypt, and a few of the things I learned about the present situation there and how I am connected to it.  We have all heard the news, and if you haven't by choice please know that it is still really going down and each of us on the planet, especially here in this fine nation are directly attached to the now in the not so far off Middle East.  According to an article I read in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal titled: Cairo, U.S. Blindsided By Revolt, written by Charles Levinson, Margaret Coker and Jay Solomon, on Friday January 28, Mr. Mubarak contacted his his Interior Minister, Habib al-Adly and ordered him to authorize the use of live ammunition to put the rebellion down.

Prior to reading that little nugget, I had understood through other western media, not media sources that the Egyptian military on the very same day had clearly stated that it would not fire on its own people.  What I did not get at the time was that the military announcement was a direct response to Mubarak's order to shoot real bullets at real people in real time.  Journalism, in all sense of the word is over when I look at it and see it for what it is.

Another interesting thing that I learned about Egypt this week came in the form of a thirty minute transfer I had while sitting in my friend Abdu's cab.  His purple mini van was parked first in the stand on Tryon when I climbed into the back bench seat.  "Welcome my friend", Abdu said with a smile extending his large dark hand, "I knew you would be looking for me."  His soft Arabic voice is older than mine by two decades, the same amount of time that has passed since he first came to this country.  Abdu is from the city of Suez Egypt where many members of his family still live.

I asked him for the truth, and he started by saying that he has been in contact with his family every day since the shift started.  Abdu explained that the people of Egypt will not back down, even in the face of their own death until Mubarak and his entire government regime are gone.  "It is not only Mr. Mubarak that must go, the Egyptian people demand that the entire government from top to bottom must be replaced", Abdu stated.  In that wonderful authentic accent Abdu went on with an analogy by picking up the paper coffee cup out of the console in front of him.  He pointed to the lower part of the cup and said, "If there is a hole in the bottom of this cup it cannot contain the liquid, it must be replaced, otherwise it is useless."

Hearing him talk about the real situation in Egypt was an education in itself.  The people of Egypt are smart and well aware that the United Stated gives the Mubarak government over a billion printed dollars annually.  Their question is, where is it?  What has happened to all of that money over the years as the majority of the Egyptian people cannot find work or afford the basics like food and education.  Mubarak has been running the show since Anwar El Sadat was assassinated by fundamentalists in October of 1981.  I was twelve years old that day and I can clearly remember the film footage of that event and how it made me feel. 

Over the past weeks, the governments of Lebanon and Tunisia have fallen from their status as strict allies to the American-Israeli led west.  King Abdullah of Jordan has denounced his present government and replaced the Jordanian Prime Minister in preparation for what his coming his way.  Now the Egyptian Mubarak pro-American government is finished.  Israel has remained quiet thus far, as has the Muslim Brotherhood, the largest and oldest political group in many of the Arabic states.  These opposing forces seem to be waiting without rhetoric before making their move, as the entire middle east and world prepares for a post Mubarak government in Egypt. 

The reasons that I am connected to this problem as a tax paying citizen of the United States are many.  From the military industrial complex providing the Mubarak government with armed F-16 fighter jets flying over the heads of their own people to the annual billion dollars in American aid monies that have not helped anyone.  The list goes on.  But, one of the most basic connections I feel to the middle east region is gas.  Liquid petrol and all the freedom it provides with war, death and hate.  As these countries leave their alliances with the west I can only imagine that the price per unit will rise because of the potential instability of new governments.  Could it cause an effect on all parts of the American economy, such as food, transportation, and so on to the point of civil unrest here?  Would our government allow that to happen, and what is their ultimate plan to deal with the loss of allies in the region and control over it?

A shift is upon us yet again, this one is big and that is just the beginning. Cold rain on a Friday is nothing when I actually take the time to consider how it makes me feel.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Image of the Week

Yes, this simple image is all that I have for you this morning.  No lengthy words or run on sentences today, just this shot I made of the square in downtown Charlotte North Carolina.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

NC Superior Court Rule 24

ANNOTATED RULES OF NORTH CAROLINA
Copyright (c) 2010 by Matthew Bender & Company, Inc.
a member of the LexisNexis Group.
 
*** THIS DOCUMENT REFLECTS CHANGES RECEIVED THROUGH NOVEMBER 1, 2010. ***
*** ANNOTATIONS CURRENT THROUGH JULY 30, 2010. *** 
GENERAL RULES OF PRACTICE FOR THE SUPERIOR AND DISTRICT COURTS  
N.C. Super. Ct. Rule 24  (2010) 

Review Court Orders that may amend this rule.


Rule 24. Pretrial conference in capital cases  


   There shall be a pretrial conference in every case in which the defendant stands charged with a crime punishable by death. No later than ten days after the superior court obtains jurisdiction in such a case, the district attorney shall apply to the presiding superior court judge or other superior court judge holding court in the district, who shall enter an order requiring the prosecution and defense counsel to appear before the court within forty-five days thereafter for the pretrial conference. Upon request of either party at the pretrial conference the judge may for good cause shown continue the pretrial conference for a reasonable time.

   At the pretrial conference, the court and the parties shall consider:

      (1) simplification and formulation of the issues, including, but not limited to, the nature of the charges against the defendant, and the existence of evidence of aggravating circumstances;
      (2) timely appointment of assistant counsel for an indigent defendant when the State is seeking the death penalty; and
      (3) such other matters as may aid in the disposition of the action.
   The judge shall enter an order that recites that the pretrial conference took place, and any other actions taken at the pretrial conference.

   This rule does not affect the rights of the defense or the prosecution to request, or the court's authority to grant, any relief authorized by law, including but not limited to appointment of assistant counsel, in advance of the pretrial conference. 


HISTORY: Adopted April 7, 1994, effective June 1, 1994.

CASE NOTES

RIGHT TO BE PRESENT NOT IMPLICATED. --The pretrial conference required in capital cases by this Rule takes place before the jury panel is selected and sworn and is not a stage of the trial; thus, defendant's right to be present at every stage of his trial was not implicated by Rule 24 pretrial conference. State v. Chapman, 342 N.C. 330, 464 S.E.2d 661 (1995), cert. denied, 518 U.S. 1023, 116 S. Ct. 2560, 135 L. Ed. 2d 1077 (1996).

AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES. --While this rule requires the trial court and the parties to consider the existence of evidence of aggravating circumstances, nothing in the rule intimates that the prosecution must enumerate with finality all aggravating circumstances it will pursue at trial, nor can a trial court require the prosecution to declare which aggravating circumstances it will rely upon at the punishment phase. State v. Chapman, 342 N.C. 330, 464 S.E.2d 661 (1995), cert. denied, 518 U.S. 1023, 116 S. Ct. 2560, 135 L. Ed. 2d 1077 (1996).

THE PRETRIAL CONFERENCE IS AN ADMINISTRATIVE DEVICE intended to clarify the charges against the defendant and assist the prosecutor in determining whether any aggravating circumstances exist which justify seeking the death penalty. Capital defendants do not stand to lose or gain any rights at the conference. State v. Chapman, 342 N.C. 330, 464 S.E.2d 661 (1995), cert. denied, 518 U.S. 1023, 116 S. Ct. 2560, 135 L. Ed. 2d 1077 (1996).

FAILURE OF DISTRICT ATTORNEY TO APPLY FOR CONFERENCE. --As a sanction for the district attorney's failure to timely file a petition for a pretrial conference, the trial court exceeded its authority by prohibiting the state from seeking the death penalty where defendant was charged with first-degree murder. State v. Rorie, 348 N.C. 266, 500 S.E.2d 77 (1998).
   Prosecutor violated N.C. Gen. R. Prac. Super. & Dist. Ct. 24, 2001 Ann. R. N.C. 74. by failing to hold a special pre-trial conference where defendant had been charged with first degree murder. State v. Matthews, 358 N.C. 102, 591 S.E.2d 535 (2004).

   Because defendant failed to show sufficient prejudice resulting from the untimeliness of his conference under Gen. R. Pract. Super. & Dist. Cts. 24, 2009 Ann. R. N.C. 21, to warrant declaring his cases noncapital, the trial court's rulings permitting the cases to proceed capitally were proper. State v. Defoe, 364 N.C. 29, 691 S.E.2d 1 (2010).

   The 2001 amendments to the capital sentencing statutes, amending G.S. 15A-2000(a) and enacting G.S. 15A-2004, revoked the statutory mandate that provided the rationale for the North Carolina v. Rorie, 348 N.C. 266, decision which result in trail court's having the inherent authority to enforce Gen. R. Pract. Super. & Dist. Cts. 24, 2009 Ann. R. N.C. 21, by declaring a case noncapital in appropriate circumstances when a defendant has made a sufficient showing of prejudice resulting from the State's delay in holding the Rule 24 conference. State v. Defoe, 364 N.C. 29, 691 S.E.2d 1 (2010).

TRIAL COURT EXCEEDED ITS AUTHORITY. --Trial court exceeded its authority under N.C. Gen. R. Prac. Super. & Dist. Ct. 24 by declaring a case noncapital based upon the court's view of the insufficiency of the evidence of defendant's guilt regarding the underlying charge of first-degree murder. State v. Seward, 362 N.C. 210, 657 S.E.2d 356 (2008).

CITED in State v. Morgan, 359 N.C. 131, 604 S.E.2d 886 (2004).


For the previous five days, I have spent what seems like hours on the Internet searching for a legal description of the Rule 24 Hearing as it applies to the prosecution of the accused in a first degree murder case in North Carolina Superior Court.  Last night I finally gave up and determined that the rule was not available to be seen anywhere on the ubiquitous cloud over Hong Kong designed to guide us only where we need to be guided.  A few of my contacts within the legal and judicial systems were able to give me their interpretations of the what happens during a Rule 24 Hearing, but like you, I wanted more.  I wanted a real document describing what a Rule 24 Hearing actually means.  

This morning I spent time in a law library and with the help of a caring and most beautiful librarian sporting an ankle length black wool skirt, I was able to produce the document above from one of those many books lining the walls and filling the shelves in the confines of the little chamber.  As you can see clearly at the top of the page, the copyright belongs to Mathew Bender & Company, Inc.

I have read through the rule as presented and the case notes provided.  Quietly I suggest that you do as well.  The most interesting discovery I made about the Rule 24 Hearing came in the first sentence. There shall be a pretrial conference in every case in which the defendant stands charged with a crime punishable by death.  Punishable by death, death, which in the true meaning of the word has already manifested into a reality that each of you are aware of, and feeling.