Category: Appellate Opinions

Horry County Murder Conviction Affirmed

Last week, the South Carolina Supreme Court upheld an Horry County murder conviction based on accomplice liability or “the hand of one is the hand of all.” Although Kareem Harry did not pull the trigger, he was nevertheless convicted as an accomplice because, according to the facts as viewed in the light most favorable to [..]

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S.C.’s CDV Statute Held Unconstitutional (Updated)

In a decision released today, the South Carolina Supreme Court struck a portion of S.C.’s criminal domestic violence statute as unconstitutional because it discriminates against same sex couples. Who is Protected by the Domestic Violence Laws? South Carolina’s domestic violence laws are found in S.C. Code § 16-25-10, which provides criminal penalties for domestic violence, [..]

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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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How to Fight the DMV and Win

The S.C. Court of Appeals decision in Davis v. SCDMV is the story of how an ordinary person can fight arbitrary, ridiculous decisions by the DMV and win. The DMV tried to revoke Davis’ license as a habitual traffic offender six years after his third conviction for DUS. Davis fought the revocation at an admin [..]

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Lifetime Registration and Monitoring for Juvenile Sex Offenders

This month the S.C. Supreme Court affirmed the requirement of lifetime sex-offender registration and lifetime electronic monitoring of juveniles who are convicted of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree. It’s a horrible case: a 15-year-old boy was accused of forcing oral sex and attempting anal sex with a 5-year-old child. As a consequence, he [..]

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