Self Defense

South Carolina Supreme Court on Self Defense

A person is justified in using deadly force in self-defense when: (1)  The defendant was without fault in bringing on the difficulty;

(2)  The defendant . . . actually believed he was in imminent danger of losing his life or sustaining serious bodily injury, or he actually was in such imminent danger;

(3)  If the defense is based upon the defendant’s actual belief of imminent danger, a reasonable prudent man of ordinary firmness and courage would have entertained the same belief  . . . ; and (4)  The defendant had no other probable means of avoiding the danger of losing his own life or sustaining serious bodily injury than to act as he did in this particular instance.

Grassroots Support of Appeal Frees Jason Dickey – It took 5 years and thousands of dollars of the legal defense fund. Many of us have contributed to the appeal of Jason Dickey who defended himself with a handgun he legally carried.  He had a CWP.   For the first time in 25 years the South Carolina Supreme Court has reversed the manslaughter conviction of Jason Dickey. From the court decision, “CHIEF JUSTICE TOAL:  Jason Michael Dickey (Petitioner) appeals the court of appeals’ decision affirming his conviction of voluntary manslaughter.  State v. Dickey, 380 S.C. 384, 669 S.E.2d 917 (Ct. App. 2008).  We find Petitioner was entitled to a directed verdict on the issue of self-defense.  Therefore, we reverse.”

Just because you have been found not guilty on appeal does not mean you get out of prison without a struggle. His lawyer and another lawyer friend of mine (Mr. Butler) when to pick him up from prison.  The prison authorities (PA) were trying to force Jason to sign a paper acknowledging he could never possess firearms or ammo for the rest of his life. Jason refused to sign the paper.  The PA said he could not be released until he did sign.  Larry Salley (his attorney) told the PA that Jason would not sign upon the advice of legal counsel and demanded that they contact the warden and/or allow Larry to call the SCDC legal counsel.  Jason had asked Mr. Butler earlier to please call the county sheriff and have the PA arrested for kidnapping if they refused to release him as required by law.  Mr. Butler told Jason I might have to leave and call the sheriff as he had asked me to do earlier.  Eventually, the PA backed off and allowed Jason to be released without signing the paper.

Then one of the Lt. on duty had told Jason he could not leave until he shaved.  Jason refused to do so.  There was a standoff on this issue until the Lt. was called away due to a prisoner being stabbed.

Then, they could not release all of Jason’s belongings because the person with the keys to the storage area was not working that day.  They said Jason would have to return at some later date to get the rest of his belongings.  Weeks later Senator Larry Martin got one of the prison officials to release Jason’s belongings.  The official Mr. Sly did strike out the word inmate on the property.  The complete 15 page case is found below.  This case defines the law on self defense.

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