Tagged: Assault & Battery

South Carolina’s Self-Defense Jury Instruction is Obsolete and Inadequate

As discussed in a recent blog post entitled, “History of South Carolina’s Self-Defense Jury Instruction,” the following jury instruction is required in self-defense cases: Self-defense is a complete defense. If established, you must find the defendant not guilty. There are four elements required by law to establish self-defense in this case. First, the defendant must […]

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History of South Carolina’s Self-Defense Jury Instruction

Formally in South Carolina, self-defense was an affirmative defense an accused was required to prove by preponderance of the evidence.  E.g. State v. Finley, 277 S.C. 548, 290 S.E.2d 808 (1982) and State v. Bolton, 266 S.C. 444, 223 S.E.2d 863 (1976). Applying this burden of proof, in State v. Hendrix, 270 S.C. 653, 657-58, […]

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Attempted Murder & First-Degree Assault and Battery: Does the Result Intended Matter?

On February 26, 2014, the South Carolina Supreme Court decided State v. Middleton, holding that first-degree assault and battery is a lesser-included offense of attempted murder, even if the victim does not sustain any injuries.  The Court pointed out that the statutory offense applies not only to “injuries,” but also to “offers or attempts to […]

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Involuntary Manslaughter: Can an Intentional Act be an Unintentional Homicide?

On January 29, 2014, the South Carolina Court of Appeals decided Sullivan v. State, holding, “Because there was no evidence Sullivan fired a gun unintentionally, he was not entitled to a jury charge on involuntary manslaughter.”  Sullivan, in a post-conviction relief (PCR) action, alleged his trial counsel was ineffective for not requesting a full and […]

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SC Supreme Court Watch: Update on the “Protection of Persons and Property Act”

A prior SC Supreme Court Watch: The “Protection of Persons and Property Act” pointed out that our Supreme Court heard oral arguments in June 2013 in two cases that could further interpret a citizen’s rights under the statute. Both cases were before our Supreme Court on pre-trial appeals of trial court Castle Doctrine hearings.  Our […]

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Homicide by Child Abuse: Reconciling Recent Court Opinions

On December 11, 2013, the South Carolina Supreme Court decided State v. Hepburn, holding “the State did not present substantial circumstantial evidence sufficient to warrant the denial of [Ashley Hepburn’s] mid-trial directed verdict motion.”  The State jointly tired Ms. Hepburn with her codefendant, Brandon Lewis.  Previously, on May 3, 2013, the Court of Appeals had […]

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Supreme Court Watch: 2013 Year in Review

2013 was a major year in criminal law for the South Carolina Supreme Court. Interviews in Child Sexual Abuse Cases – In January 2013, our Supreme Court decided State v. Kromah, hopefully putting to rest prosecution attempts to improperly bolster child witnesses in criminal sexual conduct cases.  Kromah is the most recent of numerous cases […]

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SC Supreme Court Watch: The “Protection of Persons and Property Act”

In 2006, the General Assembly enacted the “Protection of Persons and Property Act” (SC Code Sections 16-11-410 to 450) “to codify the common law Castle Doctrine which recognizes that a person’s home is his castle and to extend the doctrine to include an occupied vehicle and the person’s place of business.” S.C. Code Ann. § […]

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Defining “Serious Bodily Injury” as an Element of Criminal Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature

Criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature (CDVHAN) is “(1) an assault and battery which involves the use of a deadly weapon or results in serious bodily injury to the victim; or (2) an assault, with or without an accompanying battery, which would reasonably cause a person to fear imminent serious bodily injury […]

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