Currently Browsing:PCR

SC Supreme Court: Pro Se Defendant Gave Up His Right to Counsel

Kenneth Hilton v. State (No. 2015-002140) Kenneth Lee Hilton appeals the denial of post-conviction relief (PCR) claiming the PCR court did not obtain a knowing and intelligent waiver of his right to counsel before allowing him to represent himself at his PCR trial. The Supreme Court finds that the PCR court obtained a valid waiver of

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SC Supreme Court Grants Relief to Deported Jamaican Citizen

Gregg Taylor v. State (No. 2015-001118) This is a post-conviction relief (PCR) matter in which Petitioner Gregg Taylor, a Jamaican citizen, pled guilty to a drug offense. Taylor resided in South Carolina for years with his wife and two children, all three of whom are United States citizens. In plea negotiations, Taylor’s primary concern was whether

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SC Supreme Court Reverses Granted PCR, No Relief in Meth Trafficking Case

Marshall Collins v. State (No. 2014-002397) A jury convicted Marshall Collins of trafficking methamphetamine (third offense), and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Collins’ conviction and sentence were affirmed on direct appeal. Collins later filed an application for PCR. The PCR judge issued an order granting Collins a new trial. The State

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SC Supreme Court: PCR Granted in Armed Robbery Case, Counsel’s Deficient Performance Requires Retrial

Stephen Smalls v. State (No. 27764) In this PCR case, the Court of Appeals held that trial counsel was deficient, but found that the evidence against Smalls was overwhelming, undermining his Strickland claim. The Supreme Court now reverses, finding that the evidence was not overwhelming, and therefore Smalls is entitled to relief. The underlying case involves an

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SC Supreme Court Reverses Denial of PCR in Criminal Sexual Conduct Case

Michael Lee Robinson v. State (No. 2015-001773) In this PCR case, Robinson was charged with criminal sexual conduct for acts that took place between 1998 and 2000. At the time the alleged acts occurred, criminal sexual conduct with a minor carried a sentencing range of 0-30 years. Subsequently, the statute was amended to increase the

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SC Supreme Court Affirms Dorchester PCR Court; Death Sentence Affirmed in 2001 Murder Case

Marion Bowman v. State (No. 27661) During the sentencing phase of this capital murder case, defense counsel elicited testimony regarding the defendant’s adaptability to the prison environment, in hopes of convincing the jury to impose a life sentence. During one witness’ testimony on this subject, counsel elicited testimony that the defendant would not be going to a “kiddy

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SC Supreme Court: New Trial in Criminal Sexual Conduct Case, Expert Witness Bolstered Victim’s Credibility

Briggs v. State (No. 2014-000693) The State indicted Briggs for criminal sexual conduct with a minor in the first degree and lewd act upon a child. At trial, the victim testified Briggs touched her “private” with his “private” and with his mouth, and the jury watched video of two forensic interviews in which the victim

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Conviction Reversed Due to Attorney’s Conflict of Interests

Gonzalez v. State Gonzalez filed a PCR action claiming that his trial attorney had a conflict of interests when he represented Gonzalez at trial. The PCR court denied relief, and the Court of Appeals affirmed that decision. The Supreme Court reverses. The nature of the conflict that Gonzalez identifies is as follows: Gonzalez was charged with

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