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Bill Number: 185 Ratification Number: 5 Act Number 2 Introducing Body: Senate Subject: Defining the term attorney general
(A2, R5, S185)
AN ACT TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 14-7-1615 SO AS TO DEFINE THE TERM ATTORNEY GENERAL OR HIS DESIGNEE FOR PURPOSES OF THE STATE GRAND JURY OF SOUTH CAROLINA; BY ADDING SECTION 14-7-1820 SO AS TO GIVE RETROACTIVE JURISDICTION TO THE STATE GRAND JURY; TO AMEND SECTION 14-7-1630, RELATING TO THE JURISDICTION AND IMPANELING OF THE STATE GRAND JURY, SO AS TO CLARIFY THE DUTIES OF THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGE; TO AMEND SECTION 14-7-1660, RELATING TO THE SELECTION OF GRAND JURORS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE PRESIDING JUDGE RATHER THAN THE CLERK OF THE GRAND JURY SHALL DETERMINE THE QUALIFICATIONS OF JURORS; TO AMEND SECTION 14-7-1700, RELATING TO RECORDS OF THE GRAND JURY, SO AS TO REQUIRE THE RECORDING OF GRAND JURY PROCEEDINGS EXCLUSIVE OF VOTING AND DELIBERATION AND TO CLARIFY THE ACCESS OF DEFENDANTS TO REVIEW TRANSCRIPTS OF GRAND JURY PROCEEDINGS; TO AMEND SECTION 14-7-1720, RELATING TO GRAND JURY SECRECY, SO AS TO EXTEND THE SECRECY RULES TO GOVERNMENTAL PERSONNEL AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE RELEASE OF RECORDS SO THAT DEFENDANTS MAY REVIEW TRANSCRIPTS OF GRAND JURY PROCEEDINGS; AND TO AMEND SECTION 14-7-1750, RELATING TO INDICTMENTS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE PRESIDING JUDGE SHALL RETURN AN INDICTMENT TO THE APPROPRIATE COUNTY BY ORDER.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Meaning of phrase
SECTION 1. Article 15, Chapter 7, Title 14 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 14-7-1615. For purposes of this article, the phrase 'Attorney General or his designee' also includes:
(1) the Attorney General or his designees,
(2) the Attorney General and his designee or designees."
Application of article
SECTION 2. Article 15, Chapter 7, Title 14 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 14-7-1820. This article applies to offenses committed both before and after its effective date."
Chief administrative judge duties revised
SECTION 3. Subsections (C) and (D) of Section 14-7-1630 of the 1976 Code are respectively amended to read:
"(C) The impaneling judge, after due consideration of the petition, may order the impanelment of a state grand jury in accordance with the petition for a term of twelve calendar months. Upon petition by the Attorney General, the then Chief Administrative Judge of the judicial circuit in which the state grand jury was impaneled, by order, may extend the term of the state grand jury for a period of six months but the term of the particular state grand jury, including any extension thereof, shall not exceed two years.
(D) The Chief Administrative Judge of the circuit wherein the state grand jury is sitting shall preside over the state grand jury during his tenure as Chief Administrative Judge. The successor Chief Administrative Judge shall assume all duties and responsibilities with regard to the state grand jury impaneled before his term, including, but not limited to, presiding over the state grand jury and ruling on petitions to extend its term. This judge is referred to in this article as the presiding judge."
Determination of juror qualifications
SECTION 4. The first paragraph of Section 14-7-1660 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"In the January following the effective date of this article and each January thereafter, the jury commissioners for each county shall proceed to draw at random from the jury box the name of one person for each one thousand residents or fraction thereof of the county as determined by the latest United States census but following the effective date of this article, the impaneling judge may authorize an interim procedure for the selection of state grand jurors to constitute the first state grand jury established pursuant to this article. The jury commissioners shall not disqualify or excuse any individual whose name is drawn. When the list is compiled, the clerk of court shall forward the list to the person designated as the clerk of the state grand jury by the impaneling judge. Upon receipt of all the lists from the clerks of court, the clerk of the state grand jury shall draw therefrom at random a list of seven hundred eligible state grand jurors, this list to be known as the master list. The clerk of the state grand jury shall mail to every person whose name is drawn a juror qualification form, the form and the manner of qualifying potential state grand jurors to be determined by the Supreme Court. Based upon these inquiries, the presiding judge shall determine solely on the basis of information provided in the state grand juror qualification form whether an individual is unqualified for, or exempt, or to be excused from jury service. The clerk of the state grand jury shall prepare annually a jury list of persons qualified to serve as state grand jurors, this list to be known as the qualified state grand jury list. No state grand juror may be excused or disqualified except in accordance with existing law."
Recording and review grand jury proceedings
SECTION 5. Section 14-7-1700 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 14-7-1700. A court reporter shall record, either stenographically or by use of an electronic recording device, all proceedings except when the state grand jury is deliberating or voting. Subject to the limitations of Section 14-7-1720(A) and (D) and Rule 5, South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure, a defendant has the right to review or reproduce or review and reproduce the stenographically or electronically recorded materials. Transcripts of the recorded testimony or proceedings must be made when requested by the Attorney General or his designee. An unintentional failure of any recording to reproduce all or any portion of the testimony or proceedings does not affect the validity of the prosecution. The recording or reporter's notes or any transcript prepared therefrom and all books, papers, records, correspondence, or other documents produced before the state grand jury must remain in the custody and control of the Attorney General or his designee unless otherwise ordered by the court in a particular case."
Secrecy rules extended
SECTION 6. Section 14-7-1720(A) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(A) State grand jury proceedings are secret, and a state grand juror shall not disclose the nature or substance of the deliberations or vote of the state grand jury. The only persons who may be present in the state grand jury room when the state grand jury is in session, except for deliberations and voting, are the state grand jurors, the Attorney General or his designee, the court reporter, an interpreter if necessary, and the witness testifying. A state grand juror, the Attorney General or his designee, any interpreter used, the court reporter, and any person to whom disclosure is made pursuant to subsection (B)(2) of this section may not disclose the testimony of a witness examined before the state grand jury or other evidence received by it except when directed by a court for the purpose of:
(1) ascertaining whether it is consistent with the testimony given by the witness before the court in any subsequent criminal proceeding;
(2) determining whether the witness is guilty of perjury;
(3) assisting local, state, other state or federal law enforcement or investigating agencies, including another grand jury, in investigating crimes under their investigative jurisdiction;
(4) providing the defendant the materials to which he is entitled pursuant to Section 14-7-1700;
(5) complying with constitutional, statutory or other legal requirements or to further justice.
If the court orders disclosure of matters occurring before the state grand jury, the disclosure must be made in that manner, at that time, and under those conditions as the court directs."
Return of indictments
SECTION 7. Section 14-7-1750 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 14-7-1750. In order to return a 'true bill' of indictment, twelve or more state grand jurors must find that probable cause exists for the indictment and vote in favor of it. Upon indictment by the state grand jury, the indictment must be returned to the presiding judge. If the presiding judge considers the indictment to be within the authority of the state grand jury and otherwise in accordance with the provisions of this article, he shall return the indictment by order to the county where venue is appropriate under South Carolina law for prosecution by the Attorney General or his designee. The presiding judge may direct that the indictment be kept secret until the defendant is in custody or has been released pending trial. Thereupon, the clerk of the state grand jury shall seal the indictment and no person shall disclose the return of the indictment except when necessary for the issuance and execution of a warrant or summons."
SECTION 8. This act, upon approval by the Governor, is effective as provided in Section 3 of Act 150 of 1987.