Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Criminal Practice

Nov 22, 2023

Criminal Practice – Admissibility of Prior Convictions – Rule 609, SCRE – Balancing Test

The circuit court did not err in finding certain prior convictions admissible under Rule 609, SCRE. We affirm the circuit court’s well-reasoned analysis and affirm the conviction and sentence. Rodney Furtick appealed his second-degree criminal sexual conduct conviction and sentence, arguing the circuit court erred in finding certain prior convictions admissible under Rule 609, SCRE. […]

Nov 22, 2023

Criminal Practice – Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor – Disseminating Obscene Material to a Minor – Dissemination Indictments – Admission of Photographs – Admission of Testimony – Cumulative Error Doctrine

We affirm defendant’s convictions for first degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and disseminating obscene material to a minor. Defendant’s convictions are affirmed. Charles Dent appealed his convictions for first degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and disseminating obscene material to a minor. On appeal, we had to determine whether the trial court […]

Nov 13, 2023

Criminal Practice – Aiken Factors – Resentencing – Hallmark Features of Youth – Life in Prison Without Parole

Defendant is entitled to have the determination of his sentence made after a faithful application of the Aiken factors. We reverse and remand for reconsideration under the standards laid out by our supreme court. Defendant appealed the result of a resentencing hearing required by our supreme court’s decision in Aiken v. Byars, 410 S.C. 534, […]

Nov 6, 2023

Criminal Practice – Administrative Law Court – Use of Religious Oils – Department of Corrections – State-Created Liberty Interest

Inmate’s claim over his use of religious oils did not implicate a state-created liberty interest. We affirm, as modified, the Administrative Law Court’s order. Inmate Gregory Pencille appealed the Administrative Law Court’s order summarily dismissing his appeal of the South Carolina Department of Corrections’ determination that he was not entitled to the use of religious […]

Oct 26, 2023

Criminal Practice – Post-Conviction Relief – Ineffective Assistance of Counsel – Failure to Call a Witness

PCR court improperly found that respondent established prejudice and erred in holding that a witness’ name being on the indictment constituted a structural error. PCR court’s order granting respondent’s application for post-conviction relief is reversed. In this post-conviction relief action, petitioner the State of South Carolina sought review of an order granting respondent James L. [&hell[...]

Oct 13, 2023

Criminal Practice – Leg Shackles – Fingerprint Card Authentication – Expert Testimony – Autopsy Photos

The State conclusively proved petitioner’s guilt of crimes arising from armed robbery, beating, and murder. We affirm the trial court’s refusal to remove Heyward’s leg shackles during the striking of the jury, and four evidentiary issues. Petitioner James Heyward was convicted of multiple crimes arising from the armed robbery, brutal beating, and murder of Alice […]

Oct 4, 2023

Criminal Practice – New Trial – State’s Negotiations with Key Witness – Materiality of Non-Disclosure

The trial court did not abuse its discretion in granting the convicted defendant a new trial. The State had the duty to disclose evidence of the negotiations and deal because its key witness and the State formed an agreement before the witness breached that agreement. The State’s failure to disclose the negotiations and the accepted […]

Sep 25, 2023

Criminal Practice – Consciousness of Guilt – Harmless Error – Petition for Rehearing

The trial court erred in finding the testimony relevant because the State did not establish a nexus between respondent’s conduct and a consciousness of his guilt. After careful consideration of the petition for rehearing, we are unable to discover that any material fact or principle of law has been either overlooked or disregarded and, therefore, […]

Sep 25, 2023

Criminal Practice – Open Courts – Sentence Reduction – Secret Proceedings & Sealed Order

When defendant, a convicted murderer, agreed to cooperate with the state in exchange for a sentence reduction, rather than complying with S.C. Code Ann. § 17-25-65, a solicitor and judge acted in secret and had defendant released from prison after he had served only 19 years of his 35-year sentence. This sentence reduction was both […]

Sep 25, 2023

Criminal Practice – Post-Conviction Relief – Shackles at Trial – Guilt Testimony

When petitioner walked to the witness stand at her murder trial, the jury saw that she was shackled. It is unclear from the record whether the jury could view petitioner’s shackles at other times during the trial. However, petitioner’s co-defendant mentioned shackles in his opening statement, and the charges in this case stem from petitioner’s […]

Sep 25, 2023

Criminal Practice – Weapon Possession – Traffic Checkpoint

According to the government’s evidence, (1) the Walterboro Police Department conducted a traffic checkpoint in response to complaints about speeding vehicles near a school, (2) the checkpoint was visible from 500 feet away and marked with a sign, (3) police vehicles were parked at the checkpoint with blue lights activated, (4) every vehicle was stopped, […]

Sep 11, 2023

Criminal Practice – Expert Witness – Cell Site Location Information – Rule 702 – ‘Textbook’ Qualification

In determining whether solicitor’s office investigator Dylan Hightower should be qualified as an expert in cell site location information, the trial judge delved deeply into the extent of Hightower’s education and into the complexity of his proposed testimony. From the trial judge’s “robust” examination of Hightower, this court can clearly see the trial judge understood [&hel[...]

Business Law

See all Business Law News


See all Commentary


How Is My Site?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...