Monday, January 30, 2006

Insight into the wild wild west that is South Carolina Magistrate's Court

Here is a link to an opinion disciplining a magistrate judge in South Carolina. As many of you know, South Carolina has some magistrates who are merely high school graduates. The fact that the Supreme Court has to remind a magistrate judge that a police report is not sufficient to convict is very scary:

The Court emphasizes that while a criminal defendant may plead guilty without any evidence of his guilt being submitted, a defendant who pleads not guilty cannot be convicted solely on the basis of a police incident report. The burden is on the government to prove a defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt based on competent evidence.

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