SC Supreme Court Sidesteps “Stand Your Ground”

The S.C. Supreme Court ruled this week on the state’s Stand Your Ground (SYG) law – although it wound up sidestepping a major issue in the application of the statute. According to the court’s ruling, anyone who kills or wounds another and invokes the SYG law in an effort to…

The S.C. Supreme Court ruled this week on the state’s Stand Your Ground (SYG) law – although it wound up sidestepping a major issue in the application of the statute.

According to the court’s ruling, anyone who kills or wounds another and invokes the SYG law in an effort to gain immunity from prosecution – and is denied that immunity by the trial judge – cannot delay his trial during the appeal. This ruling came after the court heard an emergency appeal from Gregg Isaac, who attempted to assert immunity under the Palmetto State’s SYG provision in the 2005 burglary and shooting death of Antonio Corbitt.

The irony in this case? Isaac and another defendant, Tavares World, were invading Corbitt’s home at the time the shooting took place.

Isaac claims he fired because Corbitt appeared to be reaching for a gun. Judge Clifton Newman rejected Isaac’s claim, stating that “It borders on the preposterous for the defendant in this case to claim he was acting lawfully and had the right to kill Mr. Corbitt.”

We agree. Once you invade someone else’s home, you give up the right to “stand your ground” when the occupant asserts his own right of self-defense under the Castle Doctrine.

Unfortunately, the S.C. Supreme Court sidestepped the issue of whether a defendant can assert SYG immunity if he is invading another’s home by denying Isaac’s appeal on the basis that SYG became state law in 2006 – and could not be applied retroactively to Isaac’s 2005 case (which is scheduled to go to trial on September 30).

The court did rule in the event a pretrial motion for immunity under SYG is denied by the judge, the trial must proceed at that time – and the defendant may appeal the SYG ruling only after the trial if he is found guilty.

Frankly, this whole thing is ridiculous. And the court looks ridiculous for taking a pass on the home invader component of the case …

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Frank Pytel August 22, 2013 at 11:20 am

Ms. Lazenby. When first posted your name was attached. Should have left it. Great article.

Amy Brandstadter Lazenby August 22, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Mr. Folks used his editorial discretion and changed the piece I wrote in such a manner that I felt it compromised the integrity of my work. This is not my piece. This is a FITSNews post.

Frank Pytel August 22, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Fair enough.

idiotwind August 22, 2013 at 11:36 am

who the hell takes these idiotic pictures?? the same thing was on the front page of The State last week. a gun pointed directly at the observer?? what the hell kind of firearms protocol is that? what kind of dipshit can’t see that this is completely inappropriate behavior?

john dozier August 22, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Why not have the gun pointed at dog as the “National Lampoon” once did with the quote “Buy this magazine or we will shoot this dog”. Fits could rephrase that as ” View this website or we will shoot this dog”.

GreenvilleLwyr August 22, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Pleicones concurred and said the trial court decision should be immediately appealable. The State suggested this was done in part to garner favor among conservatives in the State House in advance of the upcoming vote for Chief Justice.

Sailor August 22, 2013 at 12:45 pm

This is pure bullshit. This is murder during the commission of a crime period. How in hell has this been able to drag on since 2005?

RBS August 22, 2013 at 1:26 pm

It hasn’t, the two weren’t caught until 2012.

JC August 22, 2013 at 2:12 pm

This article is ludicrous. The Supreme Court didn’t take a pass on the application of the Stand Your Ground Law, they applied decades of judicial precedent and correctly deemed the appeal interlocutory. Fits, this was an appeal of a Motion in Limine. Mr. Isaac has yet to even be tried in the Court of General Sessions for his alleged crimes. The Supreme Court is one of appellate jurisdiction, and centuries of case law prohibit them or any appellate court from issuing advisory opinions, where no case or controversy exists. Until Mr. Isaac is actually convicted in the Court of General Sessions, the applicability of the SYG to alleged burglars is not ripe for review. Otherwise, there is no case or controversy in which the Court could render a decision.

tomstickler August 22, 2013 at 3:03 pm

You tell ’em, JC.

JC August 22, 2013 at 6:27 pm

I will try my man, but likely to no avail. If Mr. Isaac is convicted, the Supreme Court will likely grant a Writ of Certiorari to hear the merits of his appeal, given that they didn’t address the merits of SYG in their opinion regarding his interlocutory appeal. And for someone who claims to strictly follow the Constitution, Fits might want to read Article III, Section 2, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution to learn about the constraints placed on the Judicial Branch. This model of restraint was summarily adopted by almost every state in the decades following, and has remained in place since.

Polyphemos August 23, 2013 at 11:51 am

While it is true that the Supreme Court is generally a court of last resort, THIS particular court has often been sought for a preliminary ruling by Solicitors in both districts and State. The motion was couched by the DEFENSE as In Limine, but it actually came AFTER the case was begun, after the jury was supposed to have been seated. I’m not criticizing your argument, I’m just saying there can be a different reading of the circumstances, so let’s don’t be too harsh on Will. On the other hand, It is a shame Mr. Corbitt was not better trained so as to have killed the SOBs rather than the other way ’round. Murder is murder and these creeps will never get the mundane punishment they deserve.


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