Tag Archives: Jury Instructions

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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Tort/Negligence – Auto/Train Collision – Crossing Safety – Evidence – Subsequent Remedial Measures – Jury Instructions (access required)

Stephens v. CSX Transportation, Inc. After a collision between a train and a car at a railroad crossing, the defendant-railroad company cut down trees near the crossing. Plaintiff argued that this evidence should have been admitted to impeach the railroad company’s position that the crossing was reasonably safe even with the trees in place.

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Criminal Practice – Manslaughter – Jury Instructions – Self-Defense (access required)

State v. Jackson Our Court of Appeals held, Where it was unclear whether defendant or the victim started their fight, the trial court should have instructed the jury on self-defense. We affirm the trial court’s exclusion of evidence of the victim’s violent history, but we reverse its refusal to charge the jury on self-defense. We conclude that the writ of certiorari to review the Court of Appeals’ decision was improvidently granted. Dismissed.

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Criminal Practice – Evidence – Expert Witness – Pathologist – Manner of Death – Jury Instructions (access required)

State v. Commander Since the prosecution’s pathologist did not testify as to the defendant’s state of mind, he was correctly permitted to testify as to his determination that the manner of death was homicide. As modified, we affirm the Court of Appeals’ decision upholding the circuit court’s rulings. A medical examiner is required to determine both the “cause of death” - “the agent that has directly or indirectly resulted in a death,” S.C. Code Ann. § 17-5-5(2) - and the “manner of death” - natural, accidental, homicidal, suicidal, or undetermined. S.C. Code Ann. § 17-5-5(9). In this context, the testimony that an individual died from “homicide” means simply that she died “by the act, procurement, or omission of another” without regard to the criminality of the killing or culpability of the killer.

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