October 16, 2013 South Carolina Court of Appeals published opinion

State v Lamire

During jury deliberations in Lemire’s trial for lynching, conspiracy and pointing a firearm, the trail court sent back a written copy of the jury instructions. Lemire was convicted on all counts. The panel, 2-1, affirmed. The majority held that the trial court did not err in sending back the jury instructions as this is a permitted practice under South Carolina precedent. It held most of Lemire’s arguments were unpreserved, but, in event he failed to show any prejudice and his arguments about juror misuse of the instructions was speculation. The majority also held that Lemire failed to preserve his directed verdict arguments and that an instruction on inferred principal status for all mob members correctly stated the law. The dissent argued that the trail court should have sent copies of the charge to all the jurors not just one copy and emphasized that the jury must consider the charge as whole given the facts of this case including the late hour, the previous recharge on certain issues and the reasonable fear that jurors would use parts of the charge to overcome resistance of holdout jurors. The dissent argued there was prejudice because the jury foreperson was empowered to choose what to share with the other jurors and this denied Lemire a fair trial.

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