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2012-UP-228 - State v. Murray

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE.  IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 268(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals

The State, Respondent,

v.

Nathaniel Murray, Appellant.


Appeal From Richland County
L. Casey Manning, Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2012-UP-228
Heard March 1, 2012 – Filed April 18, 2012   


AFFIRMED


Assistant Appellate Defender Elizabeth Franklin-Best, of Columbia, for Appellant.

Attorney General Alan Wilson, Chief Deputy Attorney General John McIntosh, Assistant Deputy Attorney General Salley E. Elliott, Assistant Attorney General David Spencer, Staff Attorney Julie Kate Keeney, and Solicitor Daniel E. Johnson, all of Columbia, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM: Nathaniel Murray appeals his convictions of two counts of armed robbery and one count of failure to stop for a blue light.  He contends because the State had not shown his being shackled was necessary, the trial court erred in having him remain shackled and be seated at the witness stand when the jury entered the courtroom so they could not view his shackles.  We affirm pursuant to Rule 220(b)(1), SCACR, and the following authorities:

1.  As to whether the trial court erred in requiring Murray to remain shackled during his testimony: Deck v. Missouri, 544 U.S. 622, 628 (2005) ("Courts and commentators share close to a consensus that, during the guilt phase of a trial, a criminal defendant has a right to remain free of physical restraints that are visible to the jury; that the right has a constitutional dimension; but that the right may be overcome in a particular instance by essential state interests such as physical security, escape prevention, or courtroom decorum."(emphasis added)); id. at 629 ("Thus, the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments prohibit the use of physical restraints visible to the jury absent a trial court determination, in the exercise of its discretion, that they are justified by a state interest specific to a particular trial. Such a determination may of course take into account the factors that courts have traditionally relied on in gauging potential security problems and the risk of escape at trial." (emphasis added)); State v. Patterson, 367 S.C. 219, 228, 625 S.E.2d 239, 243 (Ct. App. 2006) ("An error not shown to be prejudicial does not constitute grounds for reversal."); State v. Reeves, 301 S.C. 191, 193-94, 391 S.E.2d 241, 243 (1990) ("No definite rule of law governs [finding an error harmless]; rather, the materiality and prejudicial character of the error must be determined from its relationship to the entire case."); State v. Jolly, 304 S.C. 34, 37, 402 S.E.2d 895, 897 (Ct. App. 1991) ("Errors are harmless where they could not reasonably have affected the result of the trial."); State v. Sherard, 303 S.C. 172, 176, 399 S.E.2d 595, 597 (1991) (stating an appellate court "will not set aside a conviction due to insubstantial errors not affecting the result").

2.  As to whether the trial court erred in failing to swear in Murray in front of the jury: State v. Jones, 392 S.C. 647, 655, 709 S.E.2d 696, 700 (Ct. App. 2011) ("'An issue may not be raised for the first time on appeal.  In order to preserve an issue for appeal, it must be raised to and ruled upon by the trial court.'" (quoting In re Michael H., 360 S.C. 540, 546, 602 S.E.2d 729, 732 (2004))). 

AFFIRMED.

PIEPER, KONDUROS, and GEATHERS, JJ., concur.