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.

State v. Nathaniel Witherspoon, App. Case No. 2016-306, filed November 2, 2016), REVERSAL based on Improper Victim No-Corroboration Rule

November 18th, 2016
Elizabeth Franklin-Best

This case serves to remind the bench and bar that S.C. Code 16-3-657, which provides that in a sexual assault case the victim’s testimony need not be corroborated is confusing and an unconstitutional comment on the facts by the presiding judge. In State v. Stukes, 416 S.C. 493, 787 S.E.2d 480 (2016), the South Carolina Supreme Court expressly overruled precedent condoning the use of section 16-3-657 as a jury charge and provided that the rule would be effective for all cases pending on direct appeal.

So, there. Stop giving the instruction. Or kitty will bite your desk.