Druanne White is a trial lawyer in South Carolina. Before that she was a prosecutor for the state for more than 11 years, then was elected to a four-year term as Solicitor (District Attorney) for the Tenth Judicial Circuit.
Early life and education
After gaining her law degree, White served in the United States Marines Corps as a Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG) officer for a few years. She was then hired as a state prosecutor. She served in this position for more than 11 years. In 1999, she was elected as Solicitor [District Attorney] for the Tenth Judicial Circuit, where she served a four-year term (2000–2004).
During her time as prosecutor, White became one of the foremost experts on capital murder cases in the United States. She was invited to testify as an expert witness to the U.S. Senate Judiciary committee on June 10, 2002. She testified in the matter of “Reducing the Risk of Executing the Innocent: The Report of the Illinois Governor's Commission on Capital Punishment”, along with other experts in the field, including Scott Turow, Donald Hubert, and Professor Larry Marshall (Northwestern University School of Law).
White taught the Career Prosecutors Course at the College of the National District Attorneys Association in Alexandria, Virginia, which is attended by prosecutors from around the country.[not in citation given]
Among White's notable trials as prosecutor was that known for its victim, Stephanie Carter, a four-year-old girl who died at the hands of her father and stepmother after suffering physical abuse for a year. After the father pleaded guilty, White prosecuted the stepmother and won a conviction. White subsequently co-authored a state bill entitled "Stephanie's Law", to make it easier for law enforcement to protect children in South Carolina from abuse. Among other provisions, it requires classification of suspected child abuse cases immediately as "unfounded" or "indicated", and allows reopening of cases upon the receipt of additional information.
After losing a bid for re-election as Tenth Circuit Solicitor to challenger Chrissy Adams, White opened her own law practice. As a defense attorney, White has helped to gain acquittal in two cases of women accused of murder, arguing successfully that they had been acting in self-defense.
McCullough was charged with shooting and killing her 32-year-old boyfriend, Scotty Fowler, in February 2005. She claimed had had a history of domestic violence against her. The jury acquitted McCullough, convinced by White's argument that Fowler had abused her client and McCullough killed him in self-defense.
On September 8, 2006, 23-year-old Cynthia Marchbanks and 22-year-old Amber Robey, who were childhood friends, argued. Marchbanks fled to her home, and Robey charged in. Afraid, Marchbanks fired her .45 caliber pistol at Robey, killing her with a shot to the chin. Robey was 6 months pregnant and her baby was delivered early by emergency Caesarean section in an attempt to save it. The baby died 40 days later.
White defended Marchbanks and won her acquittal of murder in a jury trial. She was believed to have killed her pregnant neighbor in self-defense, after an argument escalated.
- 2000 - elected Prosecutor of the Year by the South Carolina Solicitor's Association.
- 2003 - Gov. Mark Sanford appointed White to a 4-year term on the S.C. Prosecution Commission, which coordinates the state's prosecution of capital cases.
- 2006 - Sanford awarded White the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina's highest civilian honor.
- Liz Carey (February 27, 2009). "Charges against former Concord Elementary School employee headed to trial". Anderson Independent Mail. Retrieved July 29, 2009.
- "Reducing the Risk of Executing the Innocent: The Report of the Illinois Governor's Commission on Capital Punishment". United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary. June 12, 2002. Retrieved July 29, 2009.
- "National College of District Attorneys home page".
- "Little Girl Lost". Anderson Independent-Mail, reprinted on Leslie Mazzara Fund. 7 July 2001. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
- "House Bill 4920, "Stephanie's Law"" (Microsoft Word document). South Carolina House of Representatives. 19 March 2002. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
- "Druanne White Law Firm".
- Meryl Dillman (November 13, 2006). "Murder trial scheduled to begin". Anderson Independent Mail. Retrieved July 29, 2009.
- "Solicitor Chrissy Adams Announces Verdict in STATE v. APRIL MCCULLOUGH". 16 Nov 2006. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
- Pearce Adams (October 25, 2007). "Jury finds Cynthia Marchbanks not guilty of murder". Anderson Independent Mail. Retrieved July 29, 2009.
- "Solicitor Bob Ariail appointed to a four-year term on the SC Commission on Prosecution Coordination", Press Release, Greenville County, 6 Oct 2003, accessed 27 May 2010
- "Order of the Palmetto Alphabetical List of Recipients" (PDF).
- "Testimony of Ms. Druanne D. White, Solicitor, Tenth Judicial Circuit, South Carolina", US Senate Judiciary Committee, 12 Jun 2002