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Crime Legislation Initiative

Senate Bill 19

Why Do We Need Senate Bill 19? (Wednesday, May 8, 2013)

Four
people who were arrested Friday, May 3, 2013 and Saturday, May 4, 2013 by Charleston Police on narcotic charges were already out on bond on narcotic, assault, weapon and armed robbery charges.  

Senate Bill 19, which has been passed by the South Carolina Senate, would address repeat offenders who are out on bond for serious and most serious crimes and commit additional serious or most serious offenses. It is now in the House of Representatives for consideration.

The version which passed the Senate requires offenders who are on bond for serious or most serious offenses and commit another serious crime must have their bond for the new charge heard by a Circuit Court judge.  The substantial benefit of this change to the community’s safety is that the Circuit Court judge can determine that no conditions of bond will ensure the person will not pose a danger and set bond accordingly.  Additionally, if the Circuit judge finds no conditions will ensure that the person is unlikely to flee or not pose a danger to the community, the bond for the previous charges must be revoked.  This prevents the long and difficult process that is currently required for bond revocation.     

The following individuals were arrested on May 3, 2013:

Cary Stephens, 22, of Magnolia Road, is charged with possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, trafficking cocaine base, possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance, possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime, possession of a stolen handgun and unlawful conduct towards a child. He was out on bond for unlawful carrying of a pistol and two counts of possession of methamphetamine or cocaine base.

Corey Stephens, 23, of Magnolia Road, is charged with possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, trafficking cocaine base, possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance, possession of a stolen handgun and unlawful conduct towards a child. He was out on bond for two counts of trafficking cocaine base, possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

Kenneth Mosley, 65, of Magnolia Road, is charged with possession of cocaine, trafficking cocaine base, possession of a stolen handgun and unlawful conduct towards a child. He was out on bond for possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute.

The following individual was arrested May 4, 2013:

Kevon Roberts, 26, of Gunn Avenue, is charged with the distribution of cocaine base. He was out on bond for two separate armed robberies, the distribution of cocaine base and possession of cocaine base with the intent to distribute.  

According to Chief Gregory Mullen, law enforcement officials know there are a small number of repeat offenders who continuously victimize our communities. Senate Bill 19 helps us to address these repeat offenders and make our communities safer. By keeping criminals who commit serious or most serious crimes in jail and out of our communities, we can prevent additional crimes from occurring and the fear they create. Senate Bill 19 ensures that when a repeat offender is brought before a Circuit Court judge for bond consideration on subsequent serious or most serious offenses, a thorough review is conducted and a decision made that is based on the totality of circumstances in a manner that protects the rights of the offender and the safety of the community.  In a free society, both of these important values are critical.

Contact the House members and urge them to support Senate Bill 19. This common sense bill must be passed by June 11th.


Post and Courier article connecting S.19 with the current process used in the Federal Court system to keep criminals behind bars.
(Saturday, May 4, 2013)
Want to keep ‘em in jail? Go federal


Chief Mullen's Letter to Community Partners (Thursday, May 2, 2013)
Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen wrote the following letter on May 2, 2013 to encourage every one of us to contact our S.C. House of Representatives delegation to express our support for Senate Bill 19. Send a message to all House members urging them to support Senate Bill 19. We must get this common sense bill passed by June 11th.

Dear Community Partners:

Yesterday, the Senate passed S. 19 with a vote of 42-0 sending it to the House for consideration.  This important change to the current bond provisions has the potential to immediately impact the safety of every community in South Carolina by keeping repeat, violent offenders from being released on multiple bonds.  The version which passed the Senate requires offenders who are on bond for serious or most serious offenses and commit another serious crime to have their bond for the new charge heard by a Circuit Court judge.  The substantial benefit of this change to the community’s safety is that the Circuit Court judge can determine that no conditions of bond will ensure the person will not pose a danger to the community and set bond accordingly.  Additionally, if the Circuit judge finds that no conditions will ensure that the person is unlikely to flee or not pose a danger to the community, the bond for the previous charges must be revoked.  This prevents the long and difficult process that is currently required for bond revocation.     

We have been working on this change for many years and we are now very close to implementing a process that will address a significant problem facing law enforcement and communities as we work to enhance safety.

This legislation has garnered broad support.  It is part of the 2013 law enforcement agenda and has the support of solicitors, sheriffs, police chiefs, the state law enforcement officers association, SLED, and the Attorney General. It is supported by local elected officials, business organizations, and community members. 

This legislation will provide a substantial tool in the fight against violent crime in South Carolina and we need the community’s support to get this legislation passed and enacted this year.  With your help, we know it can be done.

You can help by calling or emailing your State representative and letting them know that you support Senate Bill 19.