Supreme Court Seal
Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
Judicial Branch

RULE 610

Evidence of the beliefs or opinions of a witness on matters of religion is not admissible for the purpose of showing that by reason of their nature the witness' credibility is impaired or enhanced.


No changes were made to the language of the federal rule. The South Carolina Supreme Court has held that a belief in God is not a prerequisite to allowing the witness to testify. State v. Green, 267 S.C. 599, 230 S.E.2d 618 (1976); State v. Hicks, 257 S.C. 279, 185 S.E.2d 746 (1971). However, in State v. Turner, 36 S.C. 534, 15 S.E. 602 (1892), the State was allowed to question the accused concerning comments ridiculing religion which he had allegedly made in order to impeach his credibility. This case is inconsistent with the rule.