COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - South Carolina Chief Justice Jean Toal wants to send a message to state prosecutors to stop trying to win at all costs.
But she isn't sure if turning over the death sentence of a man who admitted raping and strangling 20-year-old Clemson University student Tiffany Souers five years ago is the right way to do it.
The state Supreme Court heard the appeal Wednesday of 40-year-old Jerry Buck Inman. His lawyers say prosecutors intentionally intimidated a defense witness who was supposed to testify about his troubled childhood.
Through their questions, Toal and the other justices appeared disgusted that the prosecutor threatened the witness with arrest for testifying. But Toal says Inman's crime was so heinous that she doesn't want to overturn his sentence just to send a message to prosecutors.