South Carolina Supreme Court Opinions

The following are opinions from the South Carolina Supreme Court published in May:

In Tappeiner v. State the Court reversed the PCR court’s denial of Tappeiner’s application for relief, finding that Tappeiner’s trial counsel was ineffective for failing to object during the State’s closing argument, and that counsel’s ineffectiveness prejudiced Tappenier. Accordingly, the Court granted Tappenier a new trial.

In State v. Stukes, the Court reversed Stukes’ conviction, holding it was reversible error for the trial court to change the jury that the victim’s testimony need not be corroborated by additional evidence pursuant to SC Code Ann Section 16-3-657 which provides, “the testimony of the victim need not be corroborated in prosecutions [for criminal sexual conduct].” In its ruling, the Court overruled the precedent that condone the use of this instruction finding that instructing the jury on the statute is an impermissible charge on the facts and therefore unconstitutional.

In the Matter of Robert W. Herlong, the Court issued a pubic reprimand for an attorney.

State v. Griffin,  the Court affirmed the appellate and trial court’s decision  finding that the deputies involved in Griffin’s arrest could be considered de facto deputies despite their failure to comply with all of the statutory requirements of sections 23-13-10 and 23-13-20.

The Court modified the appellate court’s decision regarding de facto sheriff’s deputies unnecessary as it is well established that the illegality of an initial arrest does not bar the accused person’s subsequent prosecution and conviction of the offense charged.

Gibson v. State, the Court found trial counsel was ineffective in failing to object to the jury charge that malice may be inferred from the use of a deadly weapon because the charge did not include the permissive inference language approved by this Court.

In State v. Jones, the Court affirmed the circuit court’s order granting Respondent, who was indicted for murder, immunity from prosecution under sections 16-11-440(c) of the Protection of Persons and Property Act.

SC Pubic Interest Foundation v. Lucas, the Court struck down Provisio 84.18 from the 2015-2016 General Appropriations Act finding that the inclusion of the Provision in that Act violated South Carolina Constitution Art. III, Section 17

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