Wednesday, August 16, 2006

S.C. Supreme Court reverses PCR judge's grant of new trial

In Watson v. State, the PCR judge granted Watson a new trial because trial counsel failed to object to hearsay testimony concerning Watson's alleged sexual abuse of the victim. At the PCR hearing, trial counsel testified that she did not object to the hearsay testimony because she wanted to avoid the possibility that the prosecution would have shown the video of the victim talking about the sexual abuse. Counsel stated that, "I used my own judgment. Had I objected, then they could have shown the video and shown the child again. And I did not think that was wise, to keep showing that. . . the child telling about the abuse over and over, and over, and the jury seeing the child telling that over and over and over." The Supreme Court held that this was a valid reason to fail to object and reversed the grant of a new trial.

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