Law Offices of William Isaac Diggs
William Isaac Diggs was born June 8, 1950, in Richmond County, North Carolina. “Bill” earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science with Honors from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 1977. He is a 1980 graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law at Columbia, South Carolina, and has been licensed to practice law in the States of North and South Carolina since 1980.
He is a former Chief Attorney of the South Carolina Office of Appellate Defense having served in that capacity from 1984 through 1989, while representing approximately 1,000 clients at appellate and post conviction levels. He has since broadened his representation in the criminal law arena to include Habeas Corpus claims.
Mr. Diggs delivers a closing argument during a capital murder prosecution in Georgetown County, South Carolina in August, 2006. The issue in the trial was "hypofrontality," or frontal lobe brain defect and its correlation to one's inability to control limbic system, fight or flight emotions.
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Along with co-counsel, Joseph L. Savitz of the S.C. Office of Appellate Defense, Mr. Diggs was counsel of record in the case of South Carolina v. Gathers, 490 U.S. 805, 109 S.Ct. 2207, 104 L.Ed. 2d 876 (1989), which dealt with the use of victim impact statements in capital sentencing proceedings. While the Court was intent on overruling Booth v. Maryland, 482 U.S. 496, 107 S.Ct. 2529, 96 L.Ed.2d 440 (1987), the Justices could not agree on how best to do so on the facts presented. As a result, Gathers lived when he was sentenced to life imprisonment on retrial. However, two years later, the decision was overruled in Payne v. Tennesee, 501 U.S. 808, 111 S.Ct. 2597, 115 L.Ed.2d 720 (1991).
Mr. Diggs has been counsel of record in a case which determined, prospectively, that an unborn but viable fetus could be a victim in a prosecution for murder, State v. Horne, 282 S.C. 444, 319 S.E.2d. 703 (1984); a case in which the South Carolina Supreme Court first decided to implement criminal discovery as a matter of state procedural law, State v. Keenan, 278 S.C. 361, 296 S.E.2d 676 (1983); and a case where a death sentence was challenged on an equal protection basis regarding the method of seating grand jurors in the county where the defendant was indicted, State v. George, 323 S.C. 496, 476 S.E.2d 903 (1996); and he is one of a very few attorneys in the State of South Carolina to have won a not guilty jury verdict in a capital murder prosecution where the State had formerly served notice of its intent to seek the death penalty.
Mr. Diggs also served on separate committees which drafted the current rules of appellate procedure used in South Carolina’s appellate courts, and the committee which drafted the rules of criminal procedure presently used in state trial prosecutions. He is on the United States District Court’s approved list of court appointed counsel in capital murder prosecutions in the District of South Carolina.
Disclaimer: This biographical page is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as a represenation as to a particular outcome in any other case. The cases cited illustrate the type of cases handled by Mr. Diggs and should not be viewed as an assurance of a particular result in other cases.
Please Call: 843-626-4243