90 S.E. 596 (S.C. 1916), 9554, State v. Shuman

Docket Nº:9554.
Citation:90 S.E. 596, 106 S.C. 150
Opinion Judge:GARY, C.J.
Party Name:STATE v. SHUMAN.
Attorney:B. R. Hiers and George Warren, both of Hampton, for appellant. R. L. Gunter, Sol., of Aiken, and J. W. Vincent, of Hampton, for the State.
Case Date:November 10, 1916
Court:Supreme Court of South Carolina

Page 596

90 S.E. 596 (S.C. 1916)

106 S.C. 150




No. 9554.

Supreme Court of South Carolina

November 10, 1916

Appeal from General Sessions Circuit Court of Hampton County; Geo. E. Prince, Judge.

J. K. Shuman was convicted of manslaughter, and appeals. Reversed and remanded for new trial.

Defendant's first and second exceptions, referred to in the opinion, were as follows:

(1) Because his honor, the presiding judge, erred in charging the jury as follows: "And you must be satisfied from the greater weight of the evidence that he did believe that it was necessary; that there was open to him no other apparently reasonably safe way of saving himself. If he had proven all four of these propositions by the greater weight of the evidence, he has made good his plea of self-defense, and would be entitled to a verdict of not guilty, not on the ground that the law justifies his conduct, but merely on the ground that the law excuses it. * * * If the defendant has failed to prove his plea of self-defense by the greater weight of the evidence then his defense has failed as an affirmative defense. Then, Mr. Foreman, you may consider whether or not the testimony adduced in support of this plea, when taken in connection with all the other evidence in this case, leaves you to entertain a reasonable doubt as to that, on the whole case; if it does so, write a verdict of not guilty. If it does not so by your verdict. If you are satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that he is guilty of unlawful homicide, that means murder or manslaughter, but if you cannot say beyond a reasonable doubt as to whether it [106 S.C. 152] should be murder or manslaughter, give him the benefit of that doubt and convict him of the lower offense, to wit, manslaughter,"--the error being: (a) That his honor failed to charge the jury that the defendant was entitled to the benefit of every reasonable doubt on every material point in the case; (b) that his honor failed to charge the jury the meaning of a reasonable doubt.

(2) That his honor erred in charging as follows: "A verdict means an acquittal or a conviction. It doesn't mean a mistrial. Nobody but I can order a mistrial, and you will stay in the jury room until you have agreed on a verdict, or until I order a mistrial. Don't come out here like some jury has done in this state and say, 'We, the jury, find a mistrial.' That is enough to have been...

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