State v. Rice, No. 27210.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtJustice KITTREDGE.
Citation737 S.E.2d 485,401 S.C. 330
PartiesThe STATE, Respondent, v. Jarmel L. RICE, Appellant. Appellate Case No. 2009–141166.
Docket NumberNo. 27210.
Decision Date16 January 2013

401 S.C. 330
737 S.E.2d 485

The STATE, Respondent,
v.
Jarmel L. RICE, Appellant.

Appellate Case No. 2009–141166.

No. 27210.

Supreme Court of South Carolina.

Submitted Oct. 1, 2012.
Decided Jan. 16, 2013.



Appellate Defender Robert M. Pachak, of South Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense, of Columbia, for Appellant.

Attorney General Alan M. Wilson, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Salley W. Elliott, and Assistant Attorney General Mark R. Farthing, all of Columbia, and Solicitor Christina T. Adams, of Anderson, for the State.


Justice KITTREDGE.

[401 S.C. 331]This is a direct appeal from a guilty plea. We affirm.

I.

Appellant Jarmel Rice was charged as a juvenile when he was fifteen years old for a series of violent crimes. Following a contested waiver from family court to general sessions court, Appellant pled guilty to three counts of armed robbery and one count of assault with intent to kill and received a sentence of eleven years in prison, with many other charges dismissed. In pleading guilty, Appellant raised no objection to the family court waiver. On appeal, Appellant seeks to resurrect his family court constitutional challenge to the waiver as violative of Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466, 120 S.Ct. 2348, 147 L.Ed.2d 435 (2000).

A.

South Carolina does not recognize conditional guilty pleas. State v. Truesdale, 278 S.C. 368, 370, 296 S.E.2d 528, 529 (1982); see also In re Johnny Lee W., 371 S.C. 217, 220, 638 S.E.2d 682, 684 (2006) (“A trial court may not accept a conditional plea.”). Rather, in South Carolina, a guilty plea constitutes a waiver of nonjurisdictional defects and claims of [401 S.C. 332]violations of constitutional rights. See Hyman v. State, 397 S.C. 35, 723 S.E.2d 375 (2012) (citing Rivers v. Strickland, 264 S.C. 121, 124, 213 S.E.2d 97, 98 (1975)) (noting that a valid guilty plea constitutes a waiver of

[737 S.E.2d 486]

nonjurisdictional defects and defenses). The rationale for this rule has been long understood, as the United States Supreme Court (USSC) stated:

[A] guilty plea represents a break in the chain of events which has preceded it in the criminal process. When a criminal defendant has solemnly admitted in open court that he is in fact guilty of the offense with which he is charged, he may not thereafter raise independent claims relating to the deprivation of constitutional rights that occurred prior to the entry of the guilty plea. He may only attack the voluntary and intelligent character of the plea....

Tollett v. Henderson, 411 U.S. 258, 267, 93 S.Ct. 1602, 36 L.Ed.2d 235 (1973); see also State v. Passaro, 350 S.C. 499, 506, 567 S.E.2d 862, 866 (2002) (stating a “a guilty plea generally constitutes a waiver of non-jurisdictional defects and claims of violations of constitutional rights”); Vogel v. City of Myrtle Beach, 291 S.C. 229, 231, 353 S.E.2d 137, 138 (1987) (“A plea of guilty constitutes a waiver of nonjurisdictional defects and defenses.... It conclusively disposes of all prior issues including independent claims of deprivations of constitutional rights.”); State v. Tucker, 376 S.C. 412, 418, 656 S.E.2d 403, 406–07 (Ct.App.2008) (finding a defendant's plea of guilty waived any challenge to his conviction based on an alleged pre-trial violation of statutorily prescribed procedure).


While South Carolina has remained steadfast in its opposition to conditional guilty pleas, many states allow conditional guilty pleas, primarily through statutes and court rules. In fact today, most states, all federal courts, military courts, and the District of Columbia permit conditional guilty pleas in some manner. See People v. Neuhaus, 240 P.3d 391, 394–96 (Colo.Ct.App.2009) (providing a general review of the varying approaches as to conditional guilty pleas). Because South Carolina permits only unconditional guilty pleas and no jurisdictional claim is presented, Appellant waived his right to assert a claim based on Apprendi. Nevertheless, we proceed further in light of the dissent.

[401 S.C. 333]B.

The dissent laments how unfair it would be to require this juvenile to proceed to trial and forgo the favorable plea offer to preserve his right to challenge the transfer from family court to the court of general sessions. Yet, that is the essence of our law disallowing conditional pleas, and it applies equally to juveniles and adults. The dissent further characterizes Appellant's challenge as jurisdictional. Respectfully, we do not view Appellant's argument as jurisdictional in nature. Appellant casts his issue on appeal as a constitutional claim, not a jurisdictional one. Specifically, Appellant posits that South Carolina's juvenile transfer law violates his “Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial and due process of law under Apprendi ....”

Beyond Appellant's failure to assert a jurisdictional argument on appeal, were we to read his brief as broadly as does the dissent, we would nevertheless reject the assertion of a jurisdictional error. We find instructive the case of State v. Yodprasit, which considered this very issue. 564 N.W.2d 383 (Iowa 1997). Yodprasit, a juvenile offender, pled guilty in adult court following the waiver of jurisdiction by the juvenile court. On appeal, Yodprasit challenged the juvenile court's waiver of jurisdiction, specifically asserting a jurisdictional error. The Iowa Supreme Court disagreed, holding that any such error is “judicial, not jurisdictional.” Id. at 386 (“A juvenile court might enter an erroneous order waiving jurisdiction.... Such an order, however, does not undermine the district court's subject matter jurisdiction to conduct the criminal proceedings, accept a plea of guilty, and sentence the defendant-juvenile. In short, the error is judicial, not jurisdictional.”). The Yodprasit court held that an error in a waiver proceeding which does not deprive the adult court of jurisdiction over criminal proceedings involving a juvenile can be waived if the juvenile pleads guilty. Id. at 387. We agree with Yodprasit's reasoning that an erroneous order transferring a juvenile to general sessions court...

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17 practice notes
  • State v. Harrison, Appellate Case No. 2018-002128
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • January 20, 2021
    ...John Courson. Courson pled guilty. A free and voluntary guilty plea waives all nonjurisdictional defects and defenses. State v. Rice , 401 S.C. 330, 331–32, 737 S.E.2d 485, 485–86 (2013) ("[I]n South Carolina, a guilty plea constitutes a waiver of nonjurisdictional defects and claims of vio......
  • Jamison v. State, No. 27454.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • October 22, 2014
    ...a guilty plea constitutes a waiver of nonjurisdictional defects and claims of violations of constitutional rights.” State v. Rice, 401 S.C. 330, 331–32, 737 S.E.2d 485, 485–86 (2013) (citing Hyman v. State, 397 S.C. 35, 44, 723 S.E.2d 375, 379 (2012) ). “ ‘A guilty plea represents a break i......
  • Jamison v. State, Appellate Case No. 2012-212996
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • October 22, 2014
    ...a guilty plea constitutes a waiver of nonjurisdictional defects and claims of violations of constitutional rights." State v. Rice, 401 S.C. 330, 331-32, 737 S.E.2d 485, 485-86 (2013) (citing Hyman v. State, 397 S.C. 35, 44, 723 S.E.2d 375, 379 (2012)). "'A guilty plea represents a break in ......
  • Adams v. Wise, C. A. 1:21-cv-01248-JMC-SVH
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of South Carolina
    • March 15, 2022
    ...and claims of violations of constitutional rights.” Jamison v. State, 410 S.C. 456, 467, 765 S.E.2d 123, 129 (2014) (citing State v. Rice, 401 S.C. 330, 331-32, S.E.2d 485, 485-86 (2013)). Therefore, this Court finds the plea judge correctly found applicant's plea was freely, voluntary, and......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
17 cases
  • State v. Harrison, Appellate Case No. 2018-002128
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • January 20, 2021
    ...John Courson. Courson pled guilty. A free and voluntary guilty plea waives all nonjurisdictional defects and defenses. State v. Rice , 401 S.C. 330, 331–32, 737 S.E.2d 485, 485–86 (2013) ("[I]n South Carolina, a guilty plea constitutes a waiver of nonjurisdictional defects and claims of vio......
  • Jamison v. State, No. 27454.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • October 22, 2014
    ...a guilty plea constitutes a waiver of nonjurisdictional defects and claims of violations of constitutional rights.” State v. Rice, 401 S.C. 330, 331–32, 737 S.E.2d 485, 485–86 (2013) (citing Hyman v. State, 397 S.C. 35, 44, 723 S.E.2d 375, 379 (2012) ). “ ‘A guilty plea represents a break i......
  • Jamison v. State, Appellate Case No. 2012-212996
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • October 22, 2014
    ...a guilty plea constitutes a waiver of nonjurisdictional defects and claims of violations of constitutional rights." State v. Rice, 401 S.C. 330, 331-32, 737 S.E.2d 485, 485-86 (2013) (citing Hyman v. State, 397 S.C. 35, 44, 723 S.E.2d 375, 379 (2012)). "'A guilty plea represents a break in ......
  • Adams v. Wise, C. A. 1:21-cv-01248-JMC-SVH
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of South Carolina
    • March 15, 2022
    ...and claims of violations of constitutional rights.” Jamison v. State, 410 S.C. 456, 467, 765 S.E.2d 123, 129 (2014) (citing State v. Rice, 401 S.C. 330, 331-32, S.E.2d 485, 485-86 (2013)). Therefore, this Court finds the plea judge correctly found applicant's plea was freely, voluntary, and......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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