SC House advances bill on control of court dockets
Thu, 07 Feb 2013 00:51:43 GMT —
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The South Carolina House has approved a bill returning control of court dockets to prosecutors.
The bill approved 96-14 on Wednesday adds protections to solicitors' control. It removes the word "exclusively" from state law. It also specifies that prosecutors' management of the docket can't interfere with anyone's rights to a speedy and public trial.
Amendments approved during floor debate added other protections. Defendants could get a hearing before a judge if a trial hasn't been scheduled within 180 days of an indictment. Another provision is meant to ensure an indictment isn't held up.
Local prosecutors throughout the state have long decided when to call cases to court. But in November, the state Supreme Court ruled that law is unconstitutional. Public defenders successfully argued the law violates the separation of powers.