Tuesday, June 06, 2006

S.C. Supreme Court holds that statement in PCR application that petitioner would have not have pled guilty is insufficient without testimony

In Smith v. State, the Supreme Court reversed the granting of relief in a PCR proceeding. In Smith, the prisoner did not testify at the PCR hearing that he would have not pled guilty absent trial counsel's erroneous advice. He did much such a contention in the PCR application. The statement in the PCR application, according to the Supreme Court, was insufficient.

Respondent's failure to take the stand resulted in a failure of proof-- i.e. the allegation in the complaint that he would not have pled guilty was not proven because of Respondent's reluctance to testify to that assertion. An applicant seeking relief from a guilty plea must present probative evidence to support the allegations in the PCR application that but for trial counsel's erroneous advice, the applicant would not have pled guilty.

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