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State v Binnarr

5-9-2012 South Carolina:

State v Binnarr

Zeb Eron Binnarr ("Petitioner") was convicted by a jury for failing to timely register as a sex offender pursuant to section 23-3-4601 of the South Carolina Code. Petitioner appealed his conviction primarily on the ground that he did not receive actual notice of a change in the law regarding sex offender registration requirements. The Court of Appeals affirmed Petitioner's conviction. State v. Binnarr, Op. No. 2010-UP-077 (S.C. Ct. App. filed Feb. 2, 2010). This Court granted Petitioner's request for a writ of certiorari to review the decision of the Court of Appeals. We reverse.

In view of our decision in Latimore, we hold the Court of Appeals erred in declining to find that actual notice of the re-registration requirement found in section 23-3-460 was necessary to sustain a conviction under section 23-3-470. Because the State failed to provide any direct or substantial circumstantial evidence from which a jury could determine that Petitioner had actual notice of the change in the law, we find the trial judge erred in failing to direct a verdict of acquittal. Accordingly, we reverse Petitioner's conviction.

News Article: South Carolina Supreme Court Reverses Sex Offender Registry Violation

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