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Tag Archives: Criminal Practice

Criminal Practice – Jury Charge – Voluntary Manslaughter – Murder & Self-Defense (access required)

State v. Niles Defendant presented evidence that, during a drug deal gone wrong, the dealer started shooting at the car defendant was in and defendant pulled out his own gun and shot back, fatally wounding the dealer. The circuit court should have instructed the jury, not only on murder and self-defense, but also on voluntary manslaughter.

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Criminal Practice – Constitutional – Confrontation Clause – Bruton – Co-Defendant’s Statement – Redaction (access required)

State v. McDonald Once co-defendant Cannon’s statement to police was redacted to replace the other defendants’ names with the words “another person”, the statement only implicated its maker; moreover, it did not limit the participants to three, which would have implicated the three defendants on trial.

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Criminal Practice – Sentencing – Guidelines Error – Murder Cross-Reference (access required)

U.S. v. Horton The 4th Circuit affirms a defendant’s conviction for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon under 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924, but vacates his life sentence because the district court erred in applying the murder cross-reference in the federal sentencing guidelines and in treating as relevant conduct a murder that occurred as part of an unrelated and uncharged offense arising from a fatal shooting during a home invasion.

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Criminal Practice – ABWIK – Jury Instructions – Malice – Deadly Weapon (access required)

State v. Price Where there was no evidence of self-defense or anything else which could excuse or justify assault and battery with intent to kill, the trial court did not err when it instructed the jury that it could infer malice from defendant’s use of a deadly weapon. We find no error in defendant’s conviction of assault and battery with intent to kill (ABWIK).

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Criminal Practice – Post-conviction Relief – Probation Revocation (access required)

Fleming v. State The post-conviction relief judge erred in finding petitioner was required to show there were appealable issues in order to support his allegation that he was denied his right to an appeal from the probation revocation. However, the error was harmless. There were no objections made at the probation revocation hearing. Accordingly, no issues are preserved for appellate review.

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Criminal Practice – Habeas Corpus – Sentencing – Prior Conviction – 2010 Ruling – Not Retroactive (access required)

U.S. v. Powell The 4th Circuit denies post-conviction relief for a defendant’s 240-month sentence for conspiracy to distribute cocaine, enhanced due to defendant’s prior North Carolina drug conviction; the rule defendant advances from a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court case is not retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review, and defendant’s § 2255 motion is untimely.

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Criminal Practice – DNA Search — ‘Cold Hit’ — Good Faith (access required)

U.S. v. Davis Police did not violate defendant’s rights when they collected his bloodstained clothing from a hospital four years earlier during investigation of defendant as a gunshot victim and his arrest on marijuana charges, but subsequent testing of the bloodstain for defendant’s DNA in connection with a later murder investigation in which defendant was never charged, did violate defendant’s rights...

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Criminal Practice – Administrative – Sex Offender Registry – Removal Petition – Pardon Requirement – Juvenile Adjudication (access required)

Doe v. State Our sex offender registry statutes require that, in order to be removed from the registry, one must receive a pardon. There is no indication that the legislature intended to allow only adult offenders the chance to ask for a pardon, so we construe “conviction” as used in S.C. Code Ann. § 24-21-940(A) to include a family court adjudication of delinquency.

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