State v. Ball, No. 22705

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtNESS; FINNEY; GREGORY; CHANDLER; GREGORY
Decision Date09 February 1987
PartiesThe STATE, Respondent, v. Sheila E. BALL, Appellant. . Heard
Docket NumberNo. 22705

Page 906

354 S.E.2d 906
292 S.C. 71
The STATE, Respondent,
v.
Sheila E. BALL, Appellant.
No. 22705.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
Heard Feb. 9, 1987.
Decided April 13, 1987.

Page 907

[292 S.C. 72] Asst. Appellate Defender Joseph L. Savitz, III, of S.C. Office of Appellate Defense, Columbia, for appellant.

Atty. Gen. T. Travis Medlock, Asst. Attys. Gen. Harold M. Coombs, Jr., and Amie L. Clifford; and Solicitor James C. Anders, Columbia, for respondent.

NESS, Chief Justice.

Appellant was convicted of shoplifting. She asserts the trial judge erred in permitting her to be impeached with her prior conviction for possession of cocaine. We agree.

Appellant accompanied Linda Sales to a shopping mall. An eyewitness testified appellant took three pair of bluejeans off a rack, rolled them into a ball, and dropped them into a shopping bag held by Sales. Appellant and Sales went in opposite directions and exited separate doors of the store.

Appellant testified she merely handed the bluejeans to Sales at Sales' request, and had no knowledge of what Sales did with the bluejeans. Over appellant's objections, the State was permitted to impeach appellant's credibility by questioning her regarding her prior conviction for possession of cocaine.

[292 S.C. 73] When a defendant testifies in her own behalf, proof of her prior convictions for crimes of moral turpitude is admissible only for purposes of impeachment. State v. Patrick, 289 S.C. 301, 345 S.E.2d 481 (1986). A crime of moral turpitude is an act of baseness, vileness or depravity in the private and social duties which man owes to his fellow man or to society in general, contrary to the customary and accepted rule of right and duty between man and man. State v. Morris, 289 S.C. 294, 345 S.E.2d 477 (1986); State v. LaBarge, 275 S.C. 168, 268 S.E.2d 278 (1980).

This Court has held that simple possession of marijuana is not a crime of moral turpitude. State v. Harvey, 275 S.C. 225, 268 S.E.2d 587 (1980). However, we have not before been called on to determine whether possession of cocaine or drugs other than marijuana is a crime of moral turpitude.

Page 908

In determining whether a crime is one involving moral turpitude, the Court focuses primarily on the duty to society and fellow man which is breached by the commission of the crime. See, e.g., Porter v. State, 290 S.C. 38, 348 S.E.2d 172 (1986) [sale of controlled substances]; Rouse v. McCrory, 291 S.C. 218, 353 S.E.2d 130 (1986) [breaking into a motor vehicle with intent to steal]; State v. Drakeford, 290 S.C. 338, 350 S.E.2d 391 (1986) [manufacture of marijuana]; Merritt v. Grant, 285 S.C. 150, 328 S.E.2d 346 (Ct.App.1985) [sale of narcotics]; State v. McFarlane, 279 S.C. 327, 306 S.E.2d 611 (1983) [criminal sexual conduct with a minor (any degree) ]; State v. Lilly, 278 S.C. 499, 299 S.E.2d 329 (1983) [possession of marijuana with intent to distribute]; State v. Yates, ...

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10 practice notes
  • In the Matter of Lock, No. 99-0976
    • United States
    • Texas Supreme Court
    • June 21, 2001
    ...45. Id. at 309-10 (emphasis added). 46. Id. at 310. 47. State v. Major, 391 S.E.2d 235, 237 (S.C. 1990) (quoting State v. Ball, 354 S.E.2d 906, 909 (S.C. 1987) (Gregory, C.J., dissenting)). 48. Major, 391 S.E.2d at 237. 49. Id. 50. Tex. R. Disciplinary P., reprinted in Tex. Gov't Code Ann.,......
  • State v. Hall, No. 1720
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • October 8, 1991
    ...man or to society in general, contrary to the customary and accepted rule of right and duty between man and man." State v. Ball, 292 S.C. 71, 73, 354 S.E.2d 906, 907-08 (1987),overruled on other grounds, State v. Major, 301 S.C. 181, 391 S.E.2d 235 (1990); cf. State v. LaBarge, 275 S.C......
  • State v. Joseph, No. 2711
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • July 17, 1998
    ...1 The State does not contend that providing false information to the police is not a crime of moral turpitude. See, e.g., State v. Ball, 292 S.C. 71, 354 S.E.2d 906 (1987) (Crimes of moral turpitude involve acts of "baseness, vileness or depravity in the private and social duties which......
  • Baddourah v. McMaster, Appellate Case No. 2017-002576
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • March 10, 2021
    ...the Court focuses primarily on the duty to society and fellow man which is breached by the commission of the crime." State v. Ball , 292 S.C. 71, 73–74, 354 S.E.2d 906, 908 (1987), overruled on other grounds by State v. Major , 301 S.C. 181, 184, 391 S.E.2d 235, 237 (1990) (retaining t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
10 cases
  • In the Matter of Lock, No. 99-0976
    • United States
    • Texas Supreme Court
    • June 21, 2001
    ...45. Id. at 309-10 (emphasis added). 46. Id. at 310. 47. State v. Major, 391 S.E.2d 235, 237 (S.C. 1990) (quoting State v. Ball, 354 S.E.2d 906, 909 (S.C. 1987) (Gregory, C.J., dissenting)). 48. Major, 391 S.E.2d at 237. 49. Id. 50. Tex. R. Disciplinary P., reprinted in Tex. Gov't Code Ann.,......
  • State v. Hall, No. 1720
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • October 8, 1991
    ...man or to society in general, contrary to the customary and accepted rule of right and duty between man and man." State v. Ball, 292 S.C. 71, 73, 354 S.E.2d 906, 907-08 (1987),overruled on other grounds, State v. Major, 301 S.C. 181, 391 S.E.2d 235 (1990); cf. State v. LaBarge, 275 S.C......
  • State v. Joseph, No. 2711
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • July 17, 1998
    ...1 The State does not contend that providing false information to the police is not a crime of moral turpitude. See, e.g., State v. Ball, 292 S.C. 71, 354 S.E.2d 906 (1987) (Crimes of moral turpitude involve acts of "baseness, vileness or depravity in the private and social duties which......
  • Baddourah v. McMaster, Appellate Case No. 2017-002576
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • March 10, 2021
    ...the Court focuses primarily on the duty to society and fellow man which is breached by the commission of the crime." State v. Ball , 292 S.C. 71, 73–74, 354 S.E.2d 906, 908 (1987), overruled on other grounds by State v. Major , 301 S.C. 181, 184, 391 S.E.2d 235, 237 (1990) (retaining t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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