Submitted September 7, 2017
From Greenville County Edward W. Miller, Circuit Court Judge
Falkner Wilkes, of Greenville, for Appellant.
Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson and Assistant Attorney
General J. Benjamin Aplin, both of Columbia, and Solicitor W.
Walter Wilkins, III, of Greenville, for Respondent.
Lewis Young appeals his convictions and sentences of seven
counts of attempted murder, one count of second degree
assault and battery by mob, and one count of
conspiracy. Young argues, among other issues, the
trial court erred in denying his
Batson motion. We reverse and remand for a new
codefendants were tried together for their involvement in a
shootout at a Li'l Cricket gas station in Greenville.
Prior to jury selection, the trial court agreed to permit
counsel for Booker to "speak for the group." The
State struck three black jurors: 281, 81, and alternate juror
215. Young challenged the strikes, noting of the State's
six strikes, three were used on black jurors. The trial court
noted three black jurors were seated. The State explained it
excused Juror 281 because during voir dire, she
"expressed some concerns regarding her ability to
withstand the duration of the trial. She indicated she had a
substantial number of health issues and wanted to be excused
based on those issues." Regarding Juror 81, the State
noted she lived on Prancer Avenue in Greenville County near
some of the witnesses. Finally, the State explained it struck
Juror 215 because he lived in the Piedmont area, possibly
near many of the witnesses.
argued the State's explanations were not
"satisfactory rac[e] neutral reasons, " and the
State did not strike Juror 106, a white, female juror who
lived on Piedmont Avenue in Piedmont. The State argued it did
not have any concern about that particular Piedmont address
and it did not "know the geography of Greenville County
with enough sophistication to appreciate the minor details of
the community . . . ." The trial court noted Young made
a valid point but denied the motion, relying on State v.
Tucker, 334 S.C. 1, 512 S.E.2d 99 (1998), and Payton
v. Kearse, 329 S.C. 51, 495 S.E.2d 205 (1998), and
finding no discriminatory intent inherent in the State's
explanation. After the presentation of the case, the jury
convicted Young and the court denied all post trial motions.
This appeal followed.
criminal cases, this court sits to review errors of law only
and is bound by the trial court's factual findings unless
those findings are clearly erroneous. State v.
Edwards, 384 S.C. 504, 508, 682 S.E.2d 820, 822 (2009).
Thus, on review, the court is limited to determining whether
the trial court abused its discretion. Id. A trial
court's decision constitutes an abuse of discretion when
it is unsupported by the evidence or controlled by an error
of law. State v. Black, 400 S.C. 10, 16, 732 S.E.2d
880, 884 (2012). The appellate court "does not
re-evaluate the facts based on its own view of the
preponderance of the evidence but simply determines whether
the trial court's ruling is supported by any
evidence." Edwards, 384 S.C. at 508, 682 S.E.2d
argues the trial court erred in denying his Batson
motion. We agree.
Batson, 476 U.S. at 89, the Supreme Court of the
United States held the Equal Protection Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States
forbids a prosecutor from challenging "potential jurors
solely on account of their race or on the assumption that
black jurors as a group will be unable impartially to
consider the State's case against a black
defendant." In Georgia v. McCollum, 505 U.S.
42, 59 (1992), the Supreme Court held the Constitution also
prohibits a criminal defendant from engaging in purposeful
racial discrimination in the exercise of peremptory
challenges. When one party strikes a member of a ...