Tagged: Jury Instructions

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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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: New Circumstantial Evidence Jury Instruction

On August 14, 2013, in State v. Logan, S.C. Supreme Court Opinion Number 27296, our Supreme Court adopted the following circumstantial evidence jury instruction: There are two types of evidence which are generally presented during a trial—direct evidence and circumstantial evidence. Direct evidence directly proves the existence of a fact and does not require deduction. […]

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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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SC Supreme Court Watch: Circumstantial Evidence Jury Instruction

Traditionally, trial court judges followed State v. Edwards, 298 S.C. 272, 379 S.E.2d 888 (1989) when explaining circumstantial evidence to jurors.  In addition to requiring the State to prove every circumstance beyond a reasonable doubt, Edwards required: [A]ll of the circumstances so proven be consistent with each other and taken together, point conclusively to the […]

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