MAR 27, 2023
(COLUMBIA, S.C.) - South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson hosted 18 sheriffs and 10 solicitors to call for judicial reform this morning.
"The judiciary affects everyone's everyday life, particularly when it comes to public safety. It doesn't matter what your religion is, your race, your political ideology–everyone wants to feel safe. Giving the executive branch involvement and input in how we select our judges will help bring accountability, transparency, and confidence to our criminal justice system," said Attorney General Alan Wilson.
"We need immediate judicial reform in South Carolina," said First Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe. "I've heard great ideas from every corner of the state about judicial reform, and they are all better ideas, in my opinion, than what we have now."
Attorney General Wilson, Solicitor Pascoe, and the rest of the solicitors and sheriffs agree that executive branch involvement in the selection process of judges is a necessary, great first step in judicial reform.
"Reform is changing things to make them better. We want to make our current system better and improve it as we move forward," said Chester County Sheriff Max Dorsey. "We stand united as leaders in law enforcement to seek for a reform that includes the executive branch in the selection process."
In South Carolina, judges are selected through the Judicial Merit Selection Commission (JMSC) and voted on by the legislature. Attorney General Wilson and the bipartisan law enforcement coalition are advocating for reforming the JMSC and giving the executive branch meaningful representation in that process.
"We're all public servants. We all serve the public, and we want to keep them safe," said Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott. "As law enforcement officers, we deal with victims every day. Prosecutors and judges see them too. It's our priority to keep them safe."
Attorney General Wilson announced the push for judicial reform will continue in the weeks, months, and years ahead.
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