Something’s happening in a South Carolina court that should have both homeowners and gun owners on the edge of their seats…
South Carolina’s Stand Your Ground law provides a person with “immunity from prosecution,” by essentially giving them the opportunity to claim self-defense. The law protects a person who uses deadly force if he feels threatened by another person.
But in a strange turn of events, the defendant hiding behind the law in this case is an armed intruder…
The Wild, Wild West… in South Carolina
In 2005, George Isaac, along with two other men, broke into the home of Antonio Corbitt.
Corbitt and one of the intruders, Taveres World, began to fight. And when it supposedly looked as though Corbitt was going to pull a gun on the intruder, Isaac pulled out a gun of his own… and then shot Corbitt twice, killing him.
Last week, George Isaac confessed to the shooting while testifying. But Isaac also told Judge Clifton Newman that he feared for his life at the time of the incident. He claims he was afraid of both Corbitt and World, his cohort. According to Isaac, World threatened to kill him if he didn’t assist him in breaking into the home.
But Judge Newman seemed to find the defense’s argument almost laughable, telling the defense attorney, “It borders on the preposterous for the defendant in this case to claim he was acting lawfully and had the right to kill Mr. Corbitt.”
It does seem a little far-fetched, right? The implications of the case could be far-reaching, though…
It Ain’t Over ‘Til it’s Over
Judge Newman denied a defense motion to hold a full hearing on Stand Your Ground. But the defense didn’t leave the matter alone… they filed an emergency petition with the South Carolina Supreme Court, seeking a stay in the trial because the judge denied the motion.
The Supreme Court granted the stay, stopping the trial and dismissing the jury. So what happens now?
The Supreme Court says it doesn’t want a hearing about the substance of Stand Your Ground. Instead, it wants a hearing to determine whether the defendant can enter evidence to support his claim of Stand Your Ground.
In other words, the high court wants to see if a pre-trial should be held in cases that deal with Stand Your Ground.
Fifth Circuit Solicitor Dan Johnson stated that the issue of a pretrial in “Stand Your Ground” cases is important, but he doesn’t seem too keen on the idea: “It makes it more difficult to have a trial in a speedy fashion when you have to have mini-trials in factual scenarios that might be absurd, in my opinion.”
But the Supreme Court wants to hear both the defense and prosecution’s arguments during the hearing. So the defense will get yet another chance to argue that Isaac should receive immunity from prosecution.
Now, you may think that Isaac’s self-defense argument won’t stick, but homeowners, especially those who own guns, should pay close attention to this case. If Isaac does receive immunity, the case could change the result of home invasions in the future.
We might find ourselves in the Wild West, right in our own living rooms…
In pursuit of the truth,