Sweet v. State, No. 19147

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtLEWIS; MOSS
Citation255 S.C. 293,178 S.E.2d 657
Decision Date12 January 1971
Docket NumberNo. 19147
PartiesJames Edward SWEET, Appellant, v. The STATE of South Carolina and William D. Leeke, Director, Department ofCorrections, Respondents.

Page 657

178 S.E.2d 657
255 S.C. 293
James Edward SWEET, Appellant,
v.
The STATE of South Carolina and William D. Leeke, Director,
Department ofCorrections, Respondents.
No. 19147.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
Jan. 12, 1971.

[255 S.C. 294]

Page 658

Frank Register, Columbia, for appellant.

[255 S.C. 295] Atty. Gen. Daniel R. McLeod and Asst. Attys. Gen. Emmet H. Clair and John P. Wilson, Columbia, and Sol. B. O. Thomason, Greenville, for respondents.

LEWIS, Justice.

This is a habeas corpus proceeding in which appellant seeks post-conviction relief from a sentence for statutory rape. The sentence was imposed after the entry of a plea of guilty which appellant now contends was coerced by a fear of the death penalty. The lower court, after an evidentiary hearing, held that the plea was voluntarily and understandingly entered, from which this appeal comes. We affirm.

A preliminary issue involves the charge that the lower court erred in entering a final order without taking the testimony of appellant's mother.

A hearing was held on December 9, 1968. Upon inquiry by the court, appellant stated that he desired to have his [255 S.C. 296] mother testify in his behalf, but that she was in the hospital and unable to appear at that time. The hearing was then continued for two or three days in order to permit appellant to obtain his mother's testimony. Her testimony was never offered or taken and the court, after a delay of approximately five months, issued a final order on May 20, 1970 denying the relief sought. Appellant contends that he was denied the right to call his mother, a material witness, to substantiate the charges that his plea was coerced.

Whether or not a continuance would be granted to permit appellant to present the testimony of his mother and the length of time to be allowed for such purpose were questions addressed to the sound discretion of the trial judge and his rulings will not be disturbed unless there is a clear showing of an abuse of such discretion.

There is nothing to indicate that the mother's testimony would be relevant or material to the issue of whether fear of the death penalty coerced appellant's plea. Irrespective however, ample opportunity was afforded appellant and his attorney to present the testimony and the record reveals no effort to do so. Under these circumstances, we find no abuse of discretion on the part of the lower court in deciding the issues without taking the testimony of appellant's mother.

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7 practice notes
  • Mangal v. State, Opinion No. 27726.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • July 19, 2017
    ...686, 697 (2016) (applying an abuse of discretion standard to the trial court's decision on a motion for a continuance); Sweet v. State , 255 S.C. 293, 296, 178 S.E.2d 657, 658 (1971) (same).III. Presentation of the Improper Bolstering Issue We first address the court of appeals' ruling that......
  • Childers v. State, No. 19679
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • August 15, 1973
    ...255 S.C. 493, 179 S.E.2d 906; Clark v. State, 259 S.C. 378, 192 S.E.2d 209; Young v. State, 259 S.C. 383, 192 S.E.2d 212; Sweet v. State, 255 S.C. 293, 178 S.E.2d 657; Smith v. State, 255 S.C. 417, 179 S.E.2d Affirmed. MOSS, C.J., and LEWIS, BUSSEY, BRAILSFORD and LITTLEJOHN, JJ., concur. ...
  • Smith v. State, No. 19171
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • February 11, 1971
    ...is whether, under all the facts and circumstances, the guilty plea was voluntarily and understandingly entered. Sweet v. State, S.C., 178 S.E.2d 657, filed January 12, 1971, and authorities therein cited. It follows that the court erred in resolving this issue in petitioners' favor as one o......
  • Lambert v. State, No. 19656
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • July 11, 1973
    ...affirmed. Tucker v. State, 258 S.C. 572, 190 S.E.2d 23 (1972); White v. State, 255 S.C. 493, 179 S.E.2d 906 (1971); Sweet v. State, 255 S.C. 293, 178 S.E.2d 657 (1971). When the State fulfilled its agreement to recommend a fifteen (15) year sentence and drop all other pending charges, the v......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
7 cases
  • Mangal v. State, Opinion No. 27726.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • July 19, 2017
    ...686, 697 (2016) (applying an abuse of discretion standard to the trial court's decision on a motion for a continuance); Sweet v. State , 255 S.C. 293, 296, 178 S.E.2d 657, 658 (1971) (same).III. Presentation of the Improper Bolstering Issue We first address the court of appeals' ruling that......
  • Childers v. State, No. 19679
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • August 15, 1973
    ...255 S.C. 493, 179 S.E.2d 906; Clark v. State, 259 S.C. 378, 192 S.E.2d 209; Young v. State, 259 S.C. 383, 192 S.E.2d 212; Sweet v. State, 255 S.C. 293, 178 S.E.2d 657; Smith v. State, 255 S.C. 417, 179 S.E.2d Affirmed. MOSS, C.J., and LEWIS, BUSSEY, BRAILSFORD and LITTLEJOHN, JJ., concur. ...
  • Lambert v. State, No. 19656
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • July 11, 1973
    ...affirmed. Tucker v. State, 258 S.C. 572, 190 S.E.2d 23 (1972); White v. State, 255 S.C. 493, 179 S.E.2d 906 (1971); Sweet v. State, 255 S.C. 293, 178 S.E.2d 657 (1971). When the State fulfilled its agreement to recommend a fifteen (15) year sentence and drop all other pending charges, the v......
  • Smith v. State, No. 19171
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • February 11, 1971
    ...is whether, under all the facts and circumstances, the guilty plea was voluntarily and understandingly entered. Sweet v. State, S.C., 178 S.E.2d 657, filed January 12, 1971, and authorities therein cited. It follows that the court erred in resolving this issue in petitioners' favor as one o......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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