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A different case

Posted: July 11, 2013 9:10 a.m.
Updated: July 12, 2013 5:00 a.m.

So-called “stand your ground” laws have been a matter of controversy around the country in the last couple years, but no case involving such a law is more puzzling than the S.C. Supreme Court’s agreeing to hear a matter in which a confessed murderer who kicked in a door and then killed his robbery victim claimed he should have immunity because he was fearful for his life, thinking the victim he was robbing was about to kill him.

Mark Schnee, the defense attorney for confessed murderer Gregg Isaac, asked Circuit Judge Clifton Newman to hold a hearing on the stand-your-ground law and Isaac’s request to claim it. Newman turned that down, whereupon Schnee went to the Supreme Court, which ordered the trial halted until the high court could rule.

We understand the Supreme Court’s purpose is in hearing at what point during a trial a judge should consider motions, but this case is the epitome of why some people are frustrated with a criminal justice system that sometimes seems as if it bent to the breaking point by lawyers with unusual and preposterous motions. And yes, we understand that Schnee has an obligation to provide his client with the best defense possible.

But Isaac’s claim is so ridiculous as to be ludicrous, and it makes a mockery of the court system. He and an accomplice admittedly kicked down a door to rob a man, and killed him when he tried to fight back. They should serve long years in prison, and such motions should be tossed out quickly.


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