Transcript doesn’t exist for Hardy’s first trial, yet


It’s become popular in the media to assume that Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy already has had his day in court on domestic violence charges.  In one way, he has.  But he really hasn’t.

North Carolina procedure calls for an initial trial before a judge, which precedes the trial before a jury.  The true day in court comes when the trial occurs before a jury.

To illustrate the relative lack of significance of the trial before the judge, the court doesn’t even generate a transcript of the trial before the judge.

So to say (as most have) that Hardy was convicted and is appealing the conviction isn’t accurate.  Hardy hasn’t been convicted.  He has been found guilty via a preliminary process that essentially serves as a filter for deciding the cases that are decided by a jury.

But nothing prevents the lawyer for the defendant from hiring a court reporter.  In this case, that’s what happened.  In this case, the transcript has yet to be finalized.  In this case, the Panthers and/or the league presumably can tell Hardy, “We want a copy of it when it’s ready, and you’re not playing until we have a chance to read it.”

It’s unclear when the transcript will be completed.  But it makes sense for the team and the league to make a clear and pointed request that the transcript be finished and tendered for a full review ASAP, so that the team and the league can determine whether Hardy did what he is accused of doing, and whether he should be disciplined by the team or the league for whatever one or both conclude that he did.

24 responses to “Transcript doesn’t exist for Hardy’s first trial, yet

  1. It’s time to take the power from goodell and put it all down in black and white. This crime = this punishment, etc. And they wait until the court case is decided so everyone knows it’s a fair deal and not decided by public opinion.

  2. This is the first article I have seen in the media lately that actually states the facts correctly. Hardy’s upcoming trial by jury is taking place as if the original bench trial did not ever happen. That is how the law works in NC. I hope the Panthers reinstate him until his trial by jury occurs.

  3. I’d just listen to his story from his prospective & not investigate any part of it, it’s the only way the league can get the truth (they want to hear).

  4. We are really getting some interesting lessons in the flaws of the criminal justice system we never knew about.

  5. Thank you for accurately reporting on the NC Legal System…as I said earlier it is highly unlikely he will be found guilty and is a shame not to let our legal system finish it`s course. If guilty give him the full punishment.

  6. Funny how some people just don’t care about whether Hardy is innocent or not, and just want him punished.

    If he didn’t bother fighting the charges, he would have been charged with a misdemeanor only and no jail time anyway. He probably wouldn’t have had to miss any games. Now he’s already missed one because everyone is out for blood and don’t seem to care that he hasn’t had a real trial and maintains his innocence.

    Of course, avoiding relationships with women who do coke and like to party may have been the best strategy all along, but hindsight…

  7. Hardy was validly convicted, only it doesn’t count once he appealed. He was charged with a misdemeanor, not a felony. In NC, the District Court has original jurisdiction over misdemeanor crimes. (The Superior Court has original jurisdiction over more serious felony crimes.) Trial in criminal district court is before a judge without a jury. To protect the constitutional right to a jury trial, if convicted, a defendant has the right to appeal to superior court for a trial de novo before a jury. It is as if the district court trial never happened.

    Although Hardy was convicted in district court, it disappeared upon appeal. However, a defendant who appeals to superior court can also withdraw the appeal. The case is then remanded to district court for re-entry of the prior judgment and the defendant will serve the sentence previously ordered by the district court judge.

    This process is not really a preliminary review, but is an actual adjudication and judgment with the caveat that the defendant can choose to start the case over with an appeal. Otherwise, the judgment stands as entered.

    Since a defendant can ask for a trial de novo in superior court with a jury and court reporter, NC does not make transcripts for criminal district court trials. It is very rare for a party to make a transcript for criminal district court. My guess is Hardy’s lawyers wanted the victim’s testimony on record to look for inconsistencies to use to impeach her in any civil damages trial and/or a superior court criminal trial.

  8. The trial before the judge sounds like nothing more than a prosecutor presenting evidence to a Grand Jury. Does NOT mean you’re guilty and you still get to have a trial by jury.

  9. Finally, the real report that should have been reported in the first place….stay classy trolls, he has a eight to a jury trial. If there wasn’t a lynch mob because of the elevator video he would have avoided the scrutiny of trying to prove his innocence. I’m not defending him if he did it, I’m defending the fact that he isn’t getting a fair shake due to the rice debacle.

  10. I would also add that a very low percentage of the guilty verdicts in district court are appealed to superior court.

  11. I’m sure if that original judge had found him not guilty, he would be satisfied, and there’d be no need for appeal. Based on that, he has had a day in court, now he is seeking a second, on appeals.

  12. In Teddy We Trust says:” How long does it take to finalize a transcript? Everything gets written down during the trial. Hit spell check and let’s go!”

    You don’t really understand how a transcript is created, do you? It’s possible that the first trial was merely audio recorded, and a court reporter has to go back and transcribe it from scratch. Even if there was a court reporter in court, that person will still have to go back and take the initial transcription and finalize it. That process can take a couple of weeks depending on the length of the trial, and how busy the court reporter is.

  13. If the judge trial is not the determining trial then how could a transcript from the trial be used to determine whether he did it or not. That just sounds absurd.

    And I would be shocked if the Panthers didn’t have a lawyer in attendance. The media was there tweeting every meaningless thing that happened that day.

  14. It is true that a very low percentage of the guilty verdicts in district court are appealed, but Hardy has several $million reasons to appeal. He also might believe or know himself to be innocent.

  15. Based on experience, you get those transcripts quickly. When I ordered them for Virginia court proceedings, they took a week unless I requested a rush. The one time I requested a rush, it was two days. It appears to me that Mr. Hardy’s attorneys aren’t in a hurry to get it.

  16. In that same sense and simply playing devil’s advocate here in the Ray rice case:

    1) When everyone was clamoring for the Ravens/NFL to kick him out forever months ago, both Ray Rice and Janay Palmer were charged with simple assault.

    2) When Ray had his case, the prosecutor changed the charges to aggravated assault.

    3) Since he was allowed to enter a pre-trial diversionary program, he actually hasn’t been convicted of anything and as long as he fulfills his probation, nothing will show on his record.

    I am not saying this is right in the least. Anyone else in a similar situation would probably be in jail by now, but this is how things transpired.

  17. I’m just tired of all sports analysts condemning Hardy before his trial has even taken place. This is really getting ridiculous!
    Let the man have his due process before you convict him in public opinion!!!!!

  18. Don’t tell Peter King this. He read that non-existent transcript and managed to spend half a page writing about it….
    The fact that he still has a weekly article is a complete joke.

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