South Carolina circuit court judge Bentley Price of Charleston has been the subject of a great deal of scrutiny over the past few years – and with good reason. Sources reported to us earlier this week that Price was facing a tougher-than-expected reelection fight this coming year after being implicated in connection with some questionable sentences – and questionable pleas – in the S.C. ninth judicial circuit.
Those sources were correct …
The annual report of the S.C. Bar Association’s judicial qualifications committee was released on Friday afternoon (October 6, 2023) and among the eighty-six candidate evaluations completed, Price was deemed “unqualified.”
Of interest? The report on Price came just days after we dropped this invective-filled piece slamming him for the latest example of his deadly accommodation of violent criminals. It also came, as fate would have, at the very moment our founding editor Will Folks was conducting an interview with Molly Vick – a victim-turned-survivor of violent crime whose abuser was turned loose on the streets by Price.
Folks’ interview with Vick drops on Monday morning, and if the bar’s findings don’t finish him off … her interview very well might.
According to our sources, any finding of “unqualified” by the bar is a kiss of death for candidates seeking to make their way through the Palmetto State’s exceedingly political judicial selection process. However, Price’s institutional support runs deep despite the fact he has been repeatedly – and rightfully – excoriated for his excessive leniency to violent criminals.
The committee – made up of bar members – evaluates all candidates annually for selection to the S.C. supreme court, court of appeals, circuit courts, family courts and administrative law courts. The investigation completed by the committee evaluates each candidate on the following: Constitutional qualifications, physical health, mental stability, ethical fitness, character, professional and academic ability, experience, reputation and judicial temperament.
Candidates can be found “well-qualified,” “qualified” or “unqualified.”
On the report, the committee found Price “qualified” in all but one category – reputation. In that category, he was found “unqualified.”
Despite receiving this purported “kiss of death,” sources familiar with Price’s thinking indicated he was not inclined to abandon his bid for another term on the circuit court bench. Why not? Because a powerful lawyer-legislator, Todd Rutherford, is said to have encouraged him to remain in the running. Not only that, several lawyer-legislators who have benefitted from Price’s rulings – and publicly defended him in the face of withering criticism – are said to be rallying to his defense.
Count on this outlet to keep our audience apprised of the latest developments as it relates to Price’s suddenly imperiled reelection bid.
Also, be sure to be on the lookout for Folks’ interview with Vick on Monday … it is one you absolutely won’t want to miss.
BENTLEY PRICE REPORT …
(Via: S.C. Bar Association)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Jenn Wood is FITSNews’ incomparable research director. She’s also the producer of the FITSFiles and Cheer Incorporated podcasts and leading expert on all things Murdaugh/ South Carolina justice. A former private investigator with a criminal justice degree, evildoers beware, Jenn Wood is far from your average journalist! A deep dive researcher with a passion for truth and a heart for victims, this mom of two is pretty much a superhero in FITSNews country. Did we mention she’s married to a rocket scientist? (Lucky guy!) Got a story idea or a tip for Jenn? Email her at email@example.com.
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