Raving maniacal is not a good look. Nor is dolefully impotent. And whatever “tone” we are talking about, the whole broken record thing gets old after awhile. And some (most?) days, I feel like a broken record when it comes to South Carolina’s ‘injustice’ system.
At the very moment when events have conspired to put this chronic problem on the front-burner (statewide as well as nationally), I am almost numb to the daily, repetitive monotony of calling out South Carolina judges (and prosecutors) for their perpetual accommodation of violent criminals – whether in the bonds they dole out, the sentences they administer or their utter failure to move cases.
Oh, and let’s not forget the real culprits here: Powerful lawyer-legislators in the S.C. General Assembly who handpick judges, set their salaries, control their budgets … and then reap the ill-gotten rewards of this control. As I have often noted, South Carolina is one of only two states in America in which lawmakers elect judges.
Actually, it’s even worse than that: Not only do lawmakers vote on judges, they exercise another layer of control over this process by screening the candidates who appear on their ballots – literally rigging the elections before they hold them.
And yes, that is something else my news outlet has been calling out … for years.
Anyway, the current system is so badly broken it will not be fixed without substantive, multi-layered reform – starting with a total overhaul of the judicial selection process.
Don’t take my word for it, though …
Let’s hear from Dr. Darren Bess, the father of a sexual assault victim who was brave enough to come forward with her story last week …
(Click to view)
(Via: FITSNews/ YouTube)
“It seems very dangerous to have the person in a courtroom who sits on the committee – some maybe even at points chairs the committee for those judiciary appointments – arguing a court case,” Bess said. “Because its seems to me like what it sets up is an environment where the person sitting on the bench owes the senator a ‘thank you’ for his position that he – or she is in – and the person out there who is the solicitor or the prosecutor, if they ever (want to) have a hope of … being appointed to a judgeship then they certainly better not irritate or piss off the person who is involved in those appointments.”
Dr. Bess wasn’t done, though …
“I’d also like to see some reform when it comes to bond – and maybe some ankle monitoring … to take that seriously and to give that some teeth legislatively,” he said.
Are lawmakers doing that? Hell no … in fact, the “GOP-controlled” House of Representatives is moving in the opposite direction on this issue.
Are these people blind? Are they not watching the spike in violent crime? And the impact it is having on victims, families and communities? Clearly not …
I have said “enough is enough” so many times I have no “enoughs” left. Literally zero “enoughs” to give. I am going to keep pushing for accountability, though, because while I may be fresh out of “enoughs,” I assure you I am not fresh out of something else …
What can you do to help? Demand better from the people who represent you …
Every seat in the 124-member S.C. House of Representatives is up for election this year, and every seat in the 46-member S.C. Senate is up for election in 2024. If a candidate for any one of these seats refuses to embrace all of these reforms – judicial selection reform, sentencing reform, bond reform, docket reform and GPS monitoring reform – they do not deserve your vote.
Nor should they get your vote …
It is time to say “enough is enough …” and have it be enough.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina and before that he was a bass player and a dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has LOTS of hats (but he gave them up for Lent this year).
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BANNER VIA: Will Folks/ FITSNews