Photo courtesy of Post and Courier
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