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South Carolina
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Case of the Month
March 2007

Case Overview

In the Matter of Russell James B.,
a Minor under the Age of Seventeen, Appellant.

Appellant pled guilty to charges of destruction of a human repository1, malicious injury to personal property, and second degree burglary. Appellant, who was thirteen at the time, and another boy, broke into a home. At the home, they broke windows, stuck swords in the walls, and smeared feces on the wall. On another date, at a different home, appellant and a different boy burned holes in a couch, which had to be re-upholstered. Finally, appellant and yet another boy went to a church graveyard and knocked over tombstones by hand and with a four-wheeler.

At the hearing in the family court, the victims informed the family court how their property was damaged and the amount it would require to make them whole. At the conclusion of the hearing, appellant was placed on probation with special conditions. Those conditions were that he was to serve a 90-day sentence at the Department of Juvenile Justice and make restitution within six months.2 The court ordered $687 restitution for one victim and $15,000 restitution for another. After serving his 90-day sentence, appellant would be expected to dispose of any assets found via an inventory of his possessions and use that money towards the restitution. Further, the court ordered that when it is appellant’s birthday or Christmas, his grandfather, with whom appellant resided, would be required to send the money appellant would have received on that occasion to the solicitor’s office to pay the restitution.

Appellant has appealed the method by which he was required to pay restitution, arguing it has no rehabilitative effect and was instead cruel and counter-productive.


1South Carolina Code Ann. § 16-17-600(A)(2) (2003) provides that it is unlawful for a person to willfully and knowingly remove a grave or other repository.

2The conditions included, inter alia, that he not ride any four wheelers while on probation, that there be full cooperation by his family for an inventory of his sellable assets and that assets deemed sellable are to be sold and used to pay restitution to the victims, that he complete thirty hours of community service, and write a letter of apology to each of his victims.


Case Briefs

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Final Brief of Appellant (186 kb)

Amended Final Brief of Respondent (215 kb)

 


Oral Arguments

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