Holmes Rape Case




Date Holmes’ Rape Case

In the state of South Carolina in 1989, a woman aged 86 reported that she had experienced physical abuse, harassment of sexual nature including rape, and theft. Later she did die because of the injuries that she incurred during the escapade. The result of this is that investigations did commence thereafter. Preliminary investigations gave indications that Bobby Lee Holmes was the culprit (Ritter, 2009). What was to follow next was a four-day trial that sentenced the defendant to death in a county circuit in the county of New York. Immediately after this, the Supreme Court in South Carolina did agree to the ruling that the United States of America Supreme Court was to reject. This lead to the opening the case once again and a repeat of the trail carried out by the courts. Unfortunately, during the second trial the prosecutor came up with strong forensic evidence. Some of that evidence was the fact that there was blood on top of the defendants tank, materials recovered from his underwear tested positive for the deceased DNA (Gardner, 2010). In addition to this, there was extra evidence that the defendant was present at the crime scene an hour before the crime.

While presenting his defense, Holmes did present his core witnesses. Some of the witnesses were individuals that were experts in forensics and they claimed that police had an opportunity of tampering with the results of forensics findings. In addition to this evidence, Holmes did indicate that another individual that did agree to having committed the atrocities. Jimmy McCaw White did previously plead to have been involved but the prosecution did not pay much attention to the claims. In fact, South Carolina Supreme Court did choose to dismiss the claims on the account of the fact that evidence provided by the prosecution was sufficient for the conviction of the defendant. According to the court, it was unreasonable to hold on to the sentiments of a self-proclaimed assailant given the weight of the evidence that the prosecution did provide. On this, the South Carolina Supreme court dismissed evidence provided by the defense on the account of forensic data availability.

Justice Samuel Alito had the mandate of listening to the case at the United States Supreme Court level. The court unanimously vetoed that it was inconsistent to weigh the weakness of the evidence provided by the defense using that of the prosecutor. According to the court, South Carolina court did violate the constitution especially rights that sixth amendment that compel the court to a given process (Frantzen, 2008). In addition, it also does violate the fourteenth amendment that is also adamant on the process that the court will have to follow. The indication of this is that the court did choose to overlook the obvious procedures. As such, it does violate and disobey the very constitution that it interprets through overlooking the special interests of the accused that render the ruling illogical. It also noted that the lower court had allowed the removal of evidence that in the view of the Supreme Court was recurring and was to some specified level relevant to the case (Ritter, 2009). This according to the jury did provide a chance for unfairness and harassment of the defendant and intentional misunderstanding of certain issues.

United States South Carolina Supreme Court maintained that it was necessary to apply the policies that regulate tolerability of a third party pleading guilty (Gardner 2010). It is for this reasons that the court ought to classify the ruling by the South Carolina Court ruling in this category. In the view of the fact that the ruling was in the specified nature the court concluded that the ruling had the tailoring of the ruling that did exist in American Jurisprudence and the Corpus Juris Secundum. While on one hand the court did understand that there was no need for testing the level of reliability on the part of the prosecutor, it also noted that it was rather not rational to weigh only one side of the litigation process. As such, there are no rational conclusions that can emanate from this. On conclusion, the court indicated that the rule was subjective and all details that are relevant to the defendant do indeed matter.

The conclusion drawn from the above scenario is the need of using IRAC (Issue, Rule, Analysis, and Conclusion) Formula, which is simply the basis for the entire legal analysis and play a major role in guiding lawyers thinking when seeking solutions to any legal issues. Issue means the summation of all the facts that both parties have, Rule is a representation of the country law, Analysis for the mode of application this rule, and finally conclusion has the court seeks to modify (Frantzen 2008). As such, the initial step involves identification of facts and issues, which involves searching or looking for headings of various cases, as well as language, that shows the significant topic. Finally, there is the determination of the rule can hold and that which cannot hold.


Frantzen, D. (2008). The Death Penalty: Constitutional Issues, Commentaries, and Case Briefs. London: Elsevier.

Ritter, S. E. (2009). Briefs of Leading Cases in Corrections. London: Elsevier.

Gardner, T. J. (2010). Criminal Evidence: Principles and Cases. California: Cengage Learning.