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

State v. Greene, SC Supreme Court, Filed May 23, 2018: Involuntary Manslaughter Conviction Reversed but Homicide by Child Abuse Conviction Affirmed

May 31st, 2018
Elizabeth Franklin-Best

Stephanie Greene began taking prescription medication after she was in a car wreck in 1998 – in an all-too-familiar story, she became addicted to pain meds and continued to use them over the years. When she became pregnant, according to testimony at her trial, she continued to use morphine and other depressants and then continued to use them as she was breastfeeding… without telling her doctors. The child died, and Greene was convicted

Garren v. South Carolina, SC Supreme Court, filed 4/25/18: PCR Reversal of Grant of Relief When Lower Court Record Didn’t Support Judge Findings.

May 7th, 2018
Elizabeth Franklin-Best

This is an important case for those pursuing PCR remedies, or representing PCR Applicants, because it makes clear some of the evidentiary burdens that must be met to win these cases. Garren was convicted of a number of crimes arising out of a domestic dispute. He also has mental health issues. He pleaded guilty. At the plea hearing, his lawyer even noted that he “obviously has some mental problems.” He did not directly appeal his case, but fi

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