The criminal justice system in the United States and in each state, including South Carolina, allow for a defendant’s rights to be properly protected. This is an inherent portion of the process and one that defendants should not forget, no matter how serious their situation may appear. From appeals and more, there are multiple ways of helping a defendant receive the fair treatment they deserve.
Two cases involving people from South Carolina that recently made headlines illustrate this well. In one case, a man had been convicted of felony attempted murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison in 2015 for an event that took place in 2013. Now, however, his conviction has been overturned and a new trial has been granted. As reported by The State, essential to this decision was the fact that a murder charge implies direct intent on the part of the defendant. In this case, however, there was no such intent. In addition, it is said that felony attempted murder is not a legally recognized charge.
Another case involves a man who was charged in the murder of another person in 2012. According to The Post and Courier, when it came time for his trial to commence in the summer of 2016, a witness who had been expected to testify failed to show up in court. This occurred for multiple days in a row, prompting the prosecuting attorney to request that the judge declare a mistrial.
After pushing for a second trial, the prosecution team must accept that no such event will occur. The United States Supreme Court indicates that doing so would violate the double jeopardy laws by trying a person for the same crime twice.