State v. Yates
South Carolina Supreme Court
310 S.E.2d 805 (1982)
Yates (defendant) and two accomplices drove around looking for places to rob. One of the accomplices was left at a shopping mall while Yates and the other accomplice, armed with a handgun and a knife, went to rob a general store. Yates shot the owner of the store, wounding him, but not fatally. The accomplice stabbed the owner’s wife to death and was killed during the robbery by the store owner. Yates was charged with and convicted of murder, armed robbery, assault and battery with intent to kill, and conspiracy. He was sentenced to death. Yates appealed his death sentence, claiming that, while he was criminally responsible for the death of the store owner’s wife, his accomplice committed the murder. Yates claimed that the death penalty should not apply to individuals who did not kill anyone personally.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per Curiam)
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