Tagged: Self Defense

S.C. Court of Appeals Decision Erodes the “Protections of Persons and Property Act”

State v. Manning, decided on May 7, 2014 by the Court of Appeals, erodes the protections of our state’s “Protection of Persons and Property Act,” S.C. Code Ann. §16-11-410, et. seq., which is also known as the “Castle Doctrine.”  The Court of Appeals narrowly construed the statute only to protect a person when an intruder […]

Read More

Recommending New Self-Defense Jury Instructions in South Carolina

Previous blog posts have reviewed the “History of South Carolina’s Self-Defense Jury Instruction” and explained why “South Carolina’s Self-Defense Jury Instruction is Obsolete and Inadequate.”  This post recommends new jury instructions to replace the outdated ones. The following instruction is recommended in homicide cases: A person is justified in using force which is intended or […]

Read More

Self-Defense: Directed Verdict Standard vs. Prosecution’s Burden of Proof

On March 12, 2014, the South Carolina Supreme Court decided State v. Butler, which presented the issue of “whether the trial court erred in refusing to apply a standard requiring the state to disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt at the directed verdict stage.”  Our Court denied relief, affirmed the conviction, and explained the difference […]

Read More

South Carolina’s Self-Defense Jury Instruction is Obsolete and Inadequate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

Read More

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, […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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. § […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More