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South Carolina House to tackle criminal justice reform

South Carolina House to tackle criminal justice reform

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — Criminal justice and law enforcement reform could be coming to South Carolina. 

Members of the South Carolina House of Representatives Equitable Justice System and Law Enforcement Reform Committee introduced four bills Tuesday on the first day of the 124th session of the South Carolina General Assembly. 

“I commend the hard work put in by every member of this committee as they worked throughout the summer and fall, during such an extraordinary time in our state and nation,” House Speaker Jay Lucas said. “I wholeheartedly believe that the work of this committee will lead to significant and necessary reform for our state.”

Over the past six months, the House Equitable Justice Committee has worked diligently to meet and hear informed perspectives on this important issue, Committee Co-Chairman Gary Simrill said.

“The committee has crafted meaningful reforms that will now be considered by the full House," Simrill said. "When passed, the proposals will benefit all South Carolinians. I thank Speaker Lucas, Co-Chairman Rutherford and my colleagues for their time and dedication.”

This is state government in action, working to reform the system and ensure that every South Carolinian receives justice, Committee Co-Chairman Todd Rutherford said.

“I’m proud of the work of the House Equitable Justice Committee, and I would like to thank my colleagues, especially Speaker Lucas, for this bipartisan effort,” Rutherford said.

The four bills, introduced by subcommittees of the reform committee, would enact civil asset forfeiture reform, statutory reform and sentencing reform. A bill on law enforcement training, tactics and standards is still being developed. 

The committee was commissioned by Lucas in June 2020 with the goal of developing potential reforms to improve the state's justice system. The committee and its subcommittees held hearings, heard from experts and the public to develop the bills. 

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Government and Politics Reporter

I cover the city of Florence, the county of Florence, the state legislative delegation of Florence County and surrounding areas, and the federal delegation representing the Pee Dee for the Morning News.

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