Category: Murder / Homicide

Cross Examination Using Mental Health Records

Does the defense have the right to cross-examine a state’s witness with their mental health records? It depends. In State v. Blackwell, a death penalty appeal decided by the South Carolina Supreme Court last week, the Court directly addressed this issue for the first time. The Court’s opinion contained a misplaced emphasis on statutory protections [..]

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Stone v. State – PCR – Death Penalty Affirmed

In Stone v. State, four of five S.C. Supreme Court justices affirmed Stone’s death sentence after approving testimony by a surviving widow that she attempted suicide when the Supreme Court had previously overturned Stone’s death sentence and after finding that the jury was never informed that Stone suffered from organic brain damage and intellectual impairment. [..]

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Murder Conviction Affirmed – State v. Porch

In State v. Porch, decided August 3, 2016 the S.C. Court of Appeals rejected Franks v. Delaware and Confrontation Clause claims.  The Court found that any facts omitted from Porch’s arrest warrant would not have changed the probable cause analysis, and the Confrontation Clause claim was not preserved for appellate review.  The state had unsuccessfully [..]

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Murder in South Carolina

Defined South Carolina defines murder as the killing of a person with malice aforethought. (See S.C. Code § § 16-3-10 and 16-3-20). Malice aforethought does not require ill will or hate for the victim but rather a general recklessness for the life of the victim. All that is needed for murder is that one conceived [..]

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