State v. Simpson, No. 24543

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtFINNEY
Citation325 S.C. 37,479 S.E.2d 57
PartiesThe STATE, Respondent, v. Keith SIMPSON, Appellant. . Heard
Decision Date02 April 1996
Docket NumberNo. 24543

Page 57

479 S.E.2d 57
325 S.C. 37
The STATE, Respondent,
v.
Keith SIMPSON, Appellant.
No. 24543.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
Heard April 2, 1996.
Decided Dec. 9, 1996.
Rehearing Denied Jan. 10, 1997.

Page 58

Assistant Appellate Defender Robert M. Dudek, of South Carolina Office of Appellate Defense, Columbia, for appellant.

Attorney General Charles Molony Condon, Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Assistant Deputy Attorney General Donald J. Zelenka, Assistant Attorney General Robert F. Daley, Jr., Columbia; and Solicitor Holman C. Gossett, Jr., Spartanburg, for respondent.

Page 59

FINNEY, Chief Justice.

Keith Simpson appeals his conviction and death sentence asserting numerous exceptions. We consolidate his appeal with our mandatory review pursuant to S.C.Code Ann. § 16-3-25 (1985). We affirm.

FACTS

The victim was shot and killed during a robbery of his convenience store. Appellant was indicted for murder, armed robbery, assault and battery with intent to kill (ABIK), possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime, and five counts of pointing a firearm. Appellant was convicted by a jury on all counts and sentenced to death for the murder. He received consecutive terms of thirty years for the armed robbery; twenty years for ABIK; five years for possession of a firearm; and five years each for the five counts of pointing a firearm.

DISCUSSION

Exclusion of venireman

Appellant asserts the trial judge erred by disqualifying Juror David Lee for cause because of his statements that he could not impose the death penalty. Mr. Lee was initially death penalty qualified during voir dire. On the day following completion of voir dire, the judge asked if any member of the jury had any change in his/her ability to serve. Mr. Lee responded that he had "done some soul searching" and "didn't feel good about any of this." During further questioning in chambers in the presence of the attorneys and appellant, Mr. Lee stated that due to his religious beliefs he would much rather take a portion of his paycheck to support appellant in prison than to put him to death. Mr. Lee expressed at least three times that under no circumstances would he agree to impose the death penalty.

The trial judge concluded that although Mr. Lee was initially found qualified, he did not find the juror qualified under S.C.Code Ann. § 16-3-20(E) (Supp.1995) because Mr. Lee could not consider imposing the death penalty. Appellant's counsel objected to the exclusion of Mr. Lee because he was initially qualified in open court.

A prospective juror may be excluded for cause if his views on capital punishment would prevent or substantially impair the performance of his duties as a juror. State v. Elmore, 300 S.C. 130, 386 S.E.2d 769 (1989), cert. denied, 496 U.S. 931, 110 S.Ct. 2633, 110 L.Ed.2d 652 (1990). A juror's competence is within the trial judge's discretion and is not reviewable on appeal unless wholly unsupported by the evidence. State v. Thompson, 278 S.C. 1, 292 S.E.2d 581, cert. denied, 456 U.S. 938, 102 S.Ct. 1996, 72 L.Ed.2d 458 (1982), overruled in part on other grounds by State v. Torrence, 305 S.C. 45, 406 S.E.2d 315 (1991) (abolishing in favorem vitae review). The trial judge had a reasonable basis to conclude that Mr. Lee could not faithfully carry out his duty under the law. In view of Mr. Lee's statements during the subsequent questioning, he was properly excused for cause. Appellant urges that because Mr. Lee's views were stated differently upon subsequent questioning, he should be held to his initial responses to voir dire which found him death qualified. We follow the holding in McManus v. State, 591 S.W.2d 505 (Tex.Crim.App.1979), overruled on other grounds by Reed v. State, 744 S.W.2d 112 (Tex.Crim.App.1988) that the trial court did not err in excluding for cause a juror who was initially death penalty qualified, but later had a change of heart and was not sure he could give the case fair and impartial consideration. Here, Mr. Lee firmly stated three times upon subsequent questioning that he could not impose the death penalty. Accordingly, the trial judge did not err in excluding Mr. Lee for cause. State v. Elmore, supra.

Admission of testimony

Appellant contends the trial court erred by not excluding testimony of Anthony Scott (who was shot in the store's parking lot) concerning his nine year-old son becoming hysterical after Mr. Scott was shot. Prior to trial, a motion in limine hearing was held concerning Anthony Scott's anticipated testimony. Appellant's counsel argued his testimony would be extremely prejudicial. The court ruled the statement would be a present-sense impression...

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70 practice notes
  • State v. Douglas, No. 4075.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 23 Enero 2006
    ...an objection is made at the time evidence is offered and a final ruling made, the issue is not preserved for review. See State v. Simpson, 325 S.C. 37, 479 S.E.2d 57 (1996); State v. Schumpert, 312 S.C. 502, 435 S.E.2d 859 (1993); Bank v. North Carolina Mut. Life Ins. Co., 186 S.C. 394, 195......
  • State v. Shafer, No. 25120.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 8 Mayo 2000
    ...State v. Patterson, 324 S.C. 5, 482 S.E.2d 760, cert. denied, 522 U.S. 853, 118 S.Ct. 146, 139 L.Ed.2d 92 (1997); State v. Simpson, 325 S.C. 37, 479 S.E.2d 57, cert. denied, 520 U.S. 1277, 117 S.Ct. 2460, 138 L.Ed.2d 217 (1996); State v. Humphries, 325 S.C. 28, 479 S.E.2d 52, cert. denied, ......
  • State v. Rice, No. 4300.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 5 Octubre 2007
    ...an objection is made at the time the evidence is offered and a final ruling made, the issue is not preserved for review. State v. Simpson, 325 S.C. 37, 42, 479 S.E.2d 57, 60 (1996). Furthermore, an objection must be on a specific ground. State v. Nichols, 325 S.C. 111, 120, 481 S.E.2d 118, ......
  • State v. Patterson, No. 4069.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 9 Enero 2006
    ...when the evidence is offered. See State v. Mitchell, 330 S.C. 189, 193 n. 3, 498 S.E.2d 642, 644 n. 3 (1998) (citing State v. Simpson, 325 S.C. 37, 42, 479 S.E.2d 57, 60 (1996) ("Unless an objection is made at the time the evidence is offered and a final ruling made, the issue is not preser......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
70 cases
  • State v. Douglas, No. 4075.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 23 Enero 2006
    ...an objection is made at the time evidence is offered and a final ruling made, the issue is not preserved for review. See State v. Simpson, 325 S.C. 37, 479 S.E.2d 57 (1996); State v. Schumpert, 312 S.C. 502, 435 S.E.2d 859 (1993); Bank v. North Carolina Mut. Life Ins. Co., 186 S.C. 394, 195......
  • State v. Shafer, No. 25120.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 8 Mayo 2000
    ...State v. Patterson, 324 S.C. 5, 482 S.E.2d 760, cert. denied, 522 U.S. 853, 118 S.Ct. 146, 139 L.Ed.2d 92 (1997); State v. Simpson, 325 S.C. 37, 479 S.E.2d 57, cert. denied, 520 U.S. 1277, 117 S.Ct. 2460, 138 L.Ed.2d 217 (1996); State v. Humphries, 325 S.C. 28, 479 S.E.2d 52, cert. denied, ......
  • State v. Rice, No. 4300.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 5 Octubre 2007
    ...an objection is made at the time the evidence is offered and a final ruling made, the issue is not preserved for review. State v. Simpson, 325 S.C. 37, 42, 479 S.E.2d 57, 60 (1996). Furthermore, an objection must be on a specific ground. State v. Nichols, 325 S.C. 111, 120, 481 S.E.2d 118, ......
  • State v. Patterson, No. 4069.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 9 Enero 2006
    ...when the evidence is offered. See State v. Mitchell, 330 S.C. 189, 193 n. 3, 498 S.E.2d 642, 644 n. 3 (1998) (citing State v. Simpson, 325 S.C. 37, 42, 479 S.E.2d 57, 60 (1996) ("Unless an objection is made at the time the evidence is offered and a final ruling made, the issue is not preser......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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