Tagged: Child Abuse

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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Independent Mental Evaluations of Children Alleging Sexual Abuse

Defense counsel should consider requesting an independent mental evaluation of a child alleging sexual abuse in two circumstances.  The first is when the prosecution might seek to introduce through the counselor opinion evidence about rape trauma.  For a discussion of State v. Schumpert, 312 S.C. 502, 435 S.E.2d 859 (1993) and limitations on expert testimony, […]

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Finally Finishing Forensic Interviews? No, but Why and What Comes Next?

“Forensic interviewers might be useful as a tool to aid law enforcement officers in their initial investigative process, but this does not make their work appropriate for use in the courtroom.”  State v. Kromah, 401 S.C. 340, 357 (fn. 5), 737 S.E.2d 490, 499 (fn. 5) (2013).  This ruling, handed down on January 23, 2013, […]

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Preview of Upcoming Blog Posts for Blues, Bar-B-Q, and Bar CLE

On Friday, July 12, 2013, the South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers will host the 8th Blues, Bar-B-Q, and Bar CLE at the Arts Center at the Federal Building, in Greenwood, South Carolina.  This seminar coincides with the 13th Annual South Carolina Festival of Discovery.  This event is the perfect opportunity for lawyers to […]

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