South Carolina: Lily-livered Judge Thomas Hughston’s sneaky lowering of sentence of DUI killer Samuel McCaulery infuriates prosecutor and family of victim

Samuel McCauley courtesy of Brad Nettles Post and Courier
Samuel McCauley’s party time ended the life of Eleanor Caperton;
Judge Hughston, without a hearing, cut the sentence in half for the killer.

Photo courtesy of Post and Courier

Judge refuses to reverse his own ruling; leaves Killer Sam McCauley with light sentence for killing Eleanor Caperton

From Post and Courier
Advocates for crime victims will be watching a court hearing Thursday in Charleston, where Circuit Judge Thomas L. Hughston Jr. will be asked to re-examine his ruling that reduced the sentence of a Mount Pleasant man who killed a 72-year-old woman in a drunken driving wreck.

Hughston’s May decision to cut Samuel McCauley’s jail time by half, requiring the now 21-year-old to serve five years, has drawn criticism because the ruling was made without holding a hearing. The victims’ relatives learned of the decision two months later.

“The court’s approach to resentencing the defendant threatens the integrity of our criminal justice system,” 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said in a motion seeking to reopen the sentencing.

At issue is a perceived conflict between South Carolina’s Rules of Criminal Procedure, which allow courts to grant post-trial motions without a hearing, and the state’s Victims’ Bill of Rights, which includes language about victims having a right to be heard at proceedings involving sentencing.

McCauley’s lawyer, Capers Barr, said…..MORE