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Rock Hill Criminal Defense Law Blog

Proposed South Carolina bill would show leniency to older inmates

South Carolina closed seven prisons between 2003 and 2016 as its inmate population dropped, but the number of inmates aged 55 years of age or older grew from just 833 to 2,294 during the same period. The swelling senior citizen prison population has raised concerns in Columbia, and lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle have proposed changes that would allow inmates who are 60 years old or older to petition for parole after serving at least half of their sentences. Supporters of the bill say that older inmates have extremely low recidivism rates and are very expensive to incarcerate.

Allowing older inmates who pose little threat to society to seek parole could free up crucial funds for the South Carolina prison system. Advocacy groups and think-tanks say that many detention facilities in the state are understaffed and much of the money that is available is being used to incarcerate nonviolent offenders.

South Carolina man taken into custody for cocaine

On March 26, authorities in Sumter County attempted to pull over a Nissan registered to a man who had an outstanding warrant. However, as authorities tried to stop the 32-year-old's vehicle, the vehicle made its way to Woodlawn Avenue where it was involved in an accident. The man then reportedly fled his vehicle and hid in the attic of a home that he lived in.

Police first did a search of the vehicle that turned up a gun as well as a substance that was believed to be crack cocaine. The Sumter Police Department, a Sumter County Sheriff's Office K-9 unit and South Carolina Probation, Parole and Pardon Service found their way to the man's home. After obtaining a search warrant, they took the man into custody. He faces several charges including possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and failing to stop for the police lights and siren.

Man convicted of gun charge after streaming marijuana video

On March 26, a South Carolina man was sentenced to prison on a gun charge after taking part in a live video stream that showed him packing marijuana for a drug deal. The 19-year-old is a resident of Walterboro.

According to authorities, in April 2017, the defendant broadcast a live video stream that showed him sitting in his car preparing packages of marijuana for a drug sale. The video, which was posted on a social media platform, also showed him with a shotgun and a rifle that resembled an AR-15. Two other individuals were in the car with him.

Understanding the process for white-collar criminal charges

Though white-collar crimes tend to be nonviolent, they can still have lasting, negative effects on the people involved. Therefore, white-collar criminal charges hold very strong penalties.

Parties who face these types of charges should be aware of a few important aspects of the law and the process.

About voluntary manslaughter

North Carolina residents may be charged with voluntary manslaughter if they are suspected of having intentionally killed someone without having any prior intent to commit the act. For the label of voluntary manslaughter to be applied, the factors that led to the killing would need to have affected a reasonable person to the degree that they became disturbed mentally and physically. If this condition is not present, the offender may be accused of murder in the first degree or second degree instead.

The offense of voluntary manslaughter is situated between murder, or the killing of someone with malicious intents, and the justified taking of a life, such as in self-defense. Voluntary manslaughter is distinct from involuntary manslaughter, which is defined as the killing of someone as a result of a non-felonious illegal act committed by an individual or that is caused by a careless or irresponsible person. The exact definition of voluntary manslaughter will vary depending on the state in which the crime took place.

Two dozen people charged in drug investigation

A drug investigation in three South Carolina counties resulted in more than 100 charges against 24 people. The investigation began in 2016 and is still ongoing. Law enforcement reports that wiretapping was a significant tool in the investigation. A press release from the state attorney general's office refers to the operation as "Gimme the Loot."

A bond hearing was held on March 5. Among the charges faced by the 22 men and two women are money laundering, trafficking marijuana, trafficking methamphetamine, trafficking crack, trafficking cocaine and trafficking heroin.

Woman killed in Mother's Day shooting due to mistaken identity

A South Carolina mother of three was the tragic victim of a violent crime on Mother's Day in a case of mistaken identity. The 36-year-old woman was driving home after a Mother's Day celebration when someone began shooting at her car. Prosecutors stated the car was shot at because it looked like another vehicle that was involved in a shootout earlier in the day. The victim's vehicle hit a wall at a neighborhood gas station after she was shot in the neck. She was taken to the hospital, where she died a few hours later.

Police had been alerted to two cars racing down the street in a Charleston neighborhood shooting at each other. The shootout proceeded out of the residential area and onto Interstate 26, where one vehicle, a Chrysler, broke away and drove off. The woman who was shot and killed drove a vehicle similar to the one involved in the earlier shooting, and the perpetrators thought this was the car they were looking for.

Man charged in murder of missing South Carolina woman

On Feb. 15, authorities arrested a South Carolina man for allegedly murdering a woman who had been missing since late last year. In addition to murder, he has been charged with the destruction or desecration of human remains.

According to Bennettsville police, the woman's husband reported her missing. He said that he had not seen her since Nov. 18. Officers initiated a search and located human remains in Marlboro County. An autopsy performed at the Medical University of South Carolina confirmed that the remains belonged to the missing woman. An investigation concluded that the defendant killed the woman in Bennettsville on Nov. 19. He then placed her body in a wooded area near Syrian Road.

Teenage killer to receive revised sentence

A man who was 16 when he killed two people in 1988 in South Carolina originally received a life sentence without parole. However, a life sentence without parole for someone under 18 when a crime occurs has now been deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court and courts at the state level. Expert testimony suggests that the brains of people that young are not fully developed.

The man acknowledged that he killed a 22-year-old woman and an 18-year-old man in Chester County 30 years ago. His attorney suggested that he had been rehabilitated during his time in prison. However, the prosecutor in the case said that the man has a violent history that should be taken into consideration when debating a new sentence.

Ways drug possession charges impact high schoolers' futures

The police arrest people every day for drug possession. It is an unfortunate reality that many of the people facing arrest are only teenagers

drug possession conviction will lead to numerous consequences for anyone, but it can be particularly detrimental for someone still in high school. In many cases, a teenager caught with even a small amount of marijuana can lead to jail time, substantial fines and probation. However, the consequences can be more far-reaching than that. 

 York County Bar Association South Caroline Bar NACDL South carolina association of criminal defense lawyers United states court of appeals | For the Fourth Circuit
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