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Bill Number: 1411 Ratification Number: 579 Act Number 485 Introducing Body: Senate Subject: Commission on Prosecution Coordination
(A485, R579, S1411)
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 1, CHAPTER 7, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 7 SO AS TO CREATE THE SOUTH CAROLINA COMMISSION ON PROSECUTION COORDINATION, PROVIDE FOR ITS COMPOSITION AND THE TERMS OF THE MEMBERS, PROVIDE FOR THE FILLING OF VACANCIES, PROVIDE FOR ITS DUTIES, AND AUTHORIZE THE COMMISSION TO APPOINT AN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND PROVIDE FOR FUNDING THE COMMISSION.
Whereas, the importation, sale, and use of dangerous narcotic substances in South Carolina has reached epidemic levels; and
Whereas, this epidemic has resulted in an explosion in drug-related crimes, many of which are violent in nature; and
Whereas, on January 1, 1990, there was a record backlog of forty-two thousand five hundred seventy-seven criminal cases in General Sessions and Family Courts; and
Whereas, there is a need to provide uniform and efficient administration of justice through the prosecution of criminal cases in South Carolina. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Commission on Prosecution Coordination
SECTION 1. Title 1, Chapter 7 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 1-7-910. There is created a commission to coordinate all activities involving the prosecution of criminal cases in this State. The commission is known as the South Carolina Commission on Prosecution Coordination.
Section 1-7-920. The commission is composed of the following persons for terms as indicated:
(1) The Chairmen of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees for the terms for which they are elected or their legislative designees;
(2) The Chief of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division for the term for which he is appointed;
(3) The Executive Director of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy shall serve during the term for which he is appointed;
(4) a director of a Judicial Circuit Pre-trial Intervention Program appointed by the Governor for a term of two years;
(5) a Judicial Circuit Victim-Witness Assistance Advocate appointed by the Governor for a term of two years;
(6) five judicial circuit solicitors appointed by the Governor for a term of four years. However, upon initial appointment, the Governor shall select one for a two-year term, two for a three-year term, and two for a four-year term. If a solicitor appointed to the commission is not re-elected, a vacancy occurs and it must be filled pursuant to the provisions of Section 1-7-930.
Section 1-7-930. If a vacancy occurs, it must be filled for the remainder of the term in the same manner as the initial appointment.
Section 1-7-940. (A) The commission has the following duties:
(1) coordinate all administrative functions of the offices of the solicitors and any affiliate services operating in conjunction with the solicitors' offices;
(2) submit the budgets of the solicitors and their affiliate services to the General Assembly;
(3) encourage and develop legal education programs and training programs for solicitors and their affiliate services, organize and provide seminars to help increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the prosecution of criminal cases in this State, and act as a clearinghouse and distribution source for publications involving solicitors and their affiliate services and provide legal updates on matters of law affecting the prosecution of cases in this State;
(B) Nothing in this section may be construed to displace or otherwise affect the functions and responsibilities of the State Victim/Witness Assistance Program as established in Section 16-3-1410.
Section 1-7-950. The chairman of the commission must be elected by a majority vote of the membership of the commission for a two-year term. A majority of the entire membership constitutes a quorum. Other officers as needed by the commission must be elected in the same manner.
Section 1-7-960. The commission has the authority to appoint an executive director who shall serve at the pleasure of the commission. He is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the commission and the coordination of the work with other state agencies. The commission has the authority to hire additional staff as provided for in the annual appropriations act in order to perform the duties of the commission.
Section 1-7-970. Members of the commission shall serve without pay but are allowed the usual mileage, per diem, and subsistence as provided by law for members of state boards, committees, and commissions. The executive director of the commission shall approve all vouchers for necessary expenses which must be paid from an appropriation as provided for by the General Assembly for the operation of the commission.
Section 1-7-980. Funding for the commission must be derived from the per capita funding for state services for solicitors based upon a formula to be determined by the commission."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Approved the 29th day of May, 1990.