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Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
Judicial Branch
Supreme Court
Case of the Month
September 2004

Case Overview

The State v. Jonathan Kyle Binney

This is a death penalty case. In November 2002, Mr. Binney was sentenced, in circuit court in Cherokee County, to death for the murder of Judy Southern. Mr. Binney has now appealed to the South Carolina Supreme Court. All death penalty appeals are heard by this Court. They do not go to the South Carolina Court of Appeals first, as do most criminal appeals.

This case involves Miranda warnings, which you have probably heard about on television. Prior to taking a statement from a person who is under arrest or in custody, law enforcement officers are required to read the person their Miranda rights - "You have the right to remain silent. Whatever you say may be held against you . . . You have a right to a lawyer . . . ." Mr. Binney is arguing that a statement he gave confessing to the crime should not have been allowed into evidence at his trial because the statement was taken after he had invoked his right to counsel (an attorney).

The United States Supreme Court's opinion in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694 (1966), from which "Miranda warnings" originated, is at the heart of this case.

Case Briefs

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Final Brief of Respondent (361Kb)


Oral Arguments

View Oral Arguments
(43 minutes playing time)