Elizabeth Franklin-Best

Appellate lawyer

Elizabeth Franklin-Best, a criminal appellate lawyer seeking freedom for her clients.  Focused exclusively on criminal appeals in both state and federal courts.

Category: South Carolina Supreme Court

Yancey Thompson v. State, S.C. Supreme Court, filed 3/21/18: South Carolina Supreme Court Continues to Monitor PCR Cases Closely

March 28th, 2018
Elizabeth Franklin-Best

Once again the South Carolina Supreme Court has reversed a PCR case, finding that the PCR Court did not properly assess the prejudice prong of Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984).  The Court is clearly taking longer and harder looks at this legal vehicle, and that's a great thing for criminal justice in South Carolina.   This was a criminal sexual misconduct case, and the State used their standard playbook.  It cal

Stephen Smalls v. State of South Carolina, filed 2/7/18: South Carolina Supreme Court Reverses Conviction Finding that COA Did Not Properly Assess State’s Evidence of Guilt. Also, Court Clarifies It Reviews PCR Legal Conclusion De Novo.

February 8th, 2018
Elizabeth Franklin-Best

Important case for the Bench and Bar-- Court clarifies its standard of review for PCR court conclusions of law, and how to properly assess strength of State's case in assessing Strickland prejudice. The title of this post is probably a bit misleading, given the procedural posture of this case.  What really happened is that the South Carolina Suprem