COLUMBIA, S.C. (SCRN/WVOC) - The state House has unanimously passed a bill lawmakers hope will keep South Carolina's most violent criminals behind bars instead of being released on bond.
The legislation would give judges more information about a suspect's criminal history before deciding on bail.
Sumter County Representative David Weeks told the South Carolina Radio Network that would make it easier for judges to reject bond if a violent crime is committed while someone's already out on bail for a different charge.
“You wonder why these folks are still out walking around. I mean, you've got to balance that person's individual liberty and rights because they do have the right as a citizen to have constitutional protections,” Weeks says. But when they've demonstrated that they're a threat to society – they're just not gonna do right – those folks need to stay in jail.”
Weeks says judges can still use their own discretion to set a low bond if they feel that's appropriate.
The proposed law now heads to the governor for her signature.