Janaury 22, 2014 South Carolina Supreme Court published opinions

State v Henson

At Henson’s murder and robbery trial, a redacted confession of his jointly tried codefendant was admitted over Henson’s objection. He was convicted on multiple counts. The Court unanimously reversed. It held that while Henson’s name was replaced with neutral terms in the redacted confession entered into evidence, the confession still facially implicated Henson as four participants in the robbery were mentioned in the solicitor’s opening statement, three of these participants were mentioned by name and Henson was in the courtroom as an obvious answer to who the fourth person mentioned in the confession was. The Court noted this holding was consistent with previous South Carolina case law and the conclusions of other appellate courts on similar facts. As the evidence against Henson besides the confession was not strong, the Court held the error was nto harmless and remanded for a new trial.

Carnival Corporation dba Carnival Cruise Lines v Historic Ansonborough Neighborhood Association

Association and three other groups sued Carnival alleging nuisance and zoning violations from a cruise ship using a terminal in Charleston. The case was transferred to the Court and it unanimously dismissed the complaint. The Court held that the groups lacked standing as the allegations of congestion, zoning violations interference with skyline and such were generalized grievances affecting all the citizens of Charleston. Thus, there was no particularized injury and no standing. The Court also held that the zoning standing statute, South Carolina Code 6-29-950, did not provide standing here as the statute requires particularized injury and evidence the plaintiff is an adjoining landowner neither of which are alleged in the complaint. Finally, the Court held that the public importance exception to standing did nto apply as the legal issues raised were not constitutional or otherwise of public importance and plaintiffs with standing could raise them in a future proceeding.

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