State v. Robinson, No. 23760

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtHARWELL
Citation426 S.E.2d 317,310 S.C. 535
PartiesThe STATE, Respondent, v. Roland Rod ROBINSON, Petitioner. . Heard
Docket NumberNo. 23760
Decision Date04 November 1992

Page 317

426 S.E.2d 317
310 S.C. 535
The STATE, Respondent,
v.
Roland Rod ROBINSON, Petitioner.
No. 23760.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
Heard Nov. 4, 1992.
Decided Dec. 14, 1992.

Page 318

[310 S.C. 536] Asst. Appellate Defender Tara Dawn Shurling of S.C. Office of Appellate Defense, Columbia, for petitioner.

Atty. Gen. T. Travis Medlock, Asst. Attys. Gen., Harold M. Coombs, Jr. and William Edgar Salter, III, Columbia, and Sol. Ralph J. Wilson, Conway, for respondent.

HARWELL, Chief Justice:

We granted petitioner Roland Rod Robinson's (Robinson) application for writ of certiorari to review the Court of Appeal's decision in State v. Robinson, 306 S.C. 323, 411 S.E.2d 678 (Ct.App.1991). Robinson contends that the Court of Appeals[310 S.C. 537] erred in holding that he was not entitled to a directed verdict of acquittal at the close of the State's case. We affirm as modified.

I. FACTS

Robinson was arrested after a narcotics officer saw him toss a makeshift crack pipe into a trash can shortly after police began a sweep through a bar known for drug use. The officer recovered the pipe and a plastic vial from the otherwise empty trash can and preserved them as evidence. The pipe and vial were later tested by a chemist at the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED).

At Robinson's trial in absentia, the SLED chemist testified that she found trace amounts of cocaine in the vial and pipe, but not enough to weigh. Defense counsel moved for a directed verdict of acquittal, alleging that the evidence could not support a finding that Robinson possessed cocaine beyond a reasonable doubt. The motion was denied and a jury found Robinson guilty of possessing cocaine. Robinson appealed.

The Court of Appeals held that a person must possess a measurable amount of a controlled substance to be convicted for its possession, and that the "circumstances [in this case] reasonably tend to prove Robinson at some time reasonably contemporaneous with his arrest possessed a measurable amount of cocaine." Robinson petitioned this Court for a writ of certiorari.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Amount Required for Conviction

The question of whether a minimum amount of a controlled substance is necessary to support a conviction for simple possession has never been presented to this Court. Robinson urges that the "measurable amount" standard adopted by the Court of Appeals is correct, but that it was misapplied in affirming his conviction because the testimony at trial established that he did not possess a measurable amount of cocaine. We do not agree that a "measurable amount" of a controlled substance is required to sustain a conviction for possession of a...

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15 practice notes
  • State v. Needs, No. 24856.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • November 23, 1998
    ...when appellant failed to assert it at trial); State v. Meyers, 262 S.C. 222, 203 S.E.2d 678 (1974) (same); Issue 2: State v. Robinson, 310 S.C. 535, 426 S.E.2d 317 (1992) (in considering motion for directed verdict, judge is concerned with existence or non-existence of evidence, not with it......
  • State v. Baucom, No. 2946.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • February 16, 1999
    ...311 S.C. 555, 561, 430 S.E.2d 511, 515 (1993). The statute's words "must be given their plain and ordinary meaning." State v. Robinson, 310 S.C. 535, 538, 426 S.E.2d 317, 318 (1992). "A statute is not to be read in an atmosphere of sterility, but in the context of what actually happens when......
  • State v. Wood, No. 14949
    • United States
    • New Mexico Court of Appeals of New Mexico
    • April 19, 1994
    ...cert. denied, 220 Conn. 925, 598 A.2d 366 (1991); State v. Vance, 61 Haw. 291, 602 P.2d 933, 943-44 (1979); State v. Robinson, 426 S.E.2d 317, 318 (S.C.1992) (holding that a "measurable amount" of a controlled substance is not required to sustain a conviction of possession of narcotics; leg......
  • State v. Fennell, No. 25097.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • March 27, 2000
    ...which reasonably tends to prove the guilt of the accused, or from which his guilt may be fairly or logically deduced. State v. Robinson, 310 S.C. 535, 426 S.E.2d 317 (1992). In reviewing the denial of a motion for a directed verdict, the evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
15 cases
  • State v. Needs, No. 24856.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • November 23, 1998
    ...when appellant failed to assert it at trial); State v. Meyers, 262 S.C. 222, 203 S.E.2d 678 (1974) (same); Issue 2: State v. Robinson, 310 S.C. 535, 426 S.E.2d 317 (1992) (in considering motion for directed verdict, judge is concerned with existence or non-existence of evidence, not with it......
  • State v. Wood, No. 14949
    • United States
    • New Mexico Court of Appeals of New Mexico
    • April 19, 1994
    ...cert. denied, 220 Conn. 925, 598 A.2d 366 (1991); State v. Vance, 61 Haw. 291, 602 P.2d 933, 943-44 (1979); State v. Robinson, 426 S.E.2d 317, 318 (S.C.1992) (holding that a "measurable amount" of a controlled substance is not required to sustain a conviction of possession of narc......
  • State v. Baucom, No. 2946.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • February 16, 1999
    ...555, 561, 430 S.E.2d 511, 515 (1993). The statute's words "must be given their plain and ordinary meaning." State v. Robinson, 310 S.C. 535, 538, 426 S.E.2d 317, 318 (1992). "A statute is not to be read in an atmosphere of sterility, but in the context of what actually happen......
  • State v. Fennell, No. 25097.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • March 27, 2000
    ...which reasonably tends to prove the guilt of the accused, or from which his guilt may be fairly or logically deduced. State v. Robinson, 310 S.C. 535, 426 S.E.2d 317 (1992). In reviewing the denial of a motion for a directed verdict, the evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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