© 2024 South Carolina Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Michelle Liu/Associated Press/Report for America

  • Turning around South Carolina's chronically dangerous juvenile prisons is now the job of a prosecutor who sent some of those children to jail. Juvenile Justice Director Eden Hendrick tells The Associated Press she's very hopeful that reforms are actually getting some traction. She leads an agency where federal officials say staffers have hogtied, choked, slapped and bitten children. At least she'll have more money: $20 million for a separate treatment facility where severely mentally ill juveniles can get proper care, $8 million for security upgrades, $1.6 million for pay raises and $1.5 million to upgrade the system for virtual prison visits.
  • A Defense Department-funded "resiliency review" finds Parris Island facing growing threats from climate change. The South Carolina military base has molded recruits into Marines for more than a century. Now experts say rising seas could put most of it under water during each day's high tides in just 30 years. Military authorities say they can keep the base intact through small-scale changes, like raising roads and equipment during existing projects. Others advocate much more expensive solutions, spending millions on seawalls to avoid spending billions to repair hurricane damage. But to date there is no grand overhaul currently planned.
  • Several civil rights groups are suing South Carolina over conditions at its juvenile lockups that have left children in state custody subject to violence and isolation. The lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday describes violence and neglect across facilities run by the state Department of Juvenile Justice. The groups say agency staff ignore and enable the violence and isolate children in small cells for minor infractions. The lawsuit echoes findings in recent years by federal and state investigators. Agency officials agreed to cooperate with the Department of Justice earlier this month to make changes at its main detention center in Columbia.
  • The South Carolina Supreme Court has put another execution on hold, two days after temporarily blocking plans for a rare firing squad execution. The court issued an order Friday granting inmate Brad Keith Sigmon a temporary stay ahead of his scheduled May 13 execution. The state's highest court on Wednesday had paused plans for an April 29 firing squad execution of Richard Moore. Moore and Sigmon would have been the first death row inmates put to death by South Carolina after a 2021 law made electrocution the default and also gave prisoners the option to choose a firing squad. Sigmon had so far not chosen an execution method.
  • The South Carolina Supreme Court has issued a temporary stay halting the state from carrying out plans for its first-ever firing squad execution. Wednesday's order by the state's high court temporarily halts a scheduled April 29 execution of inmate Richard Moore. The court order said a more detailed order will follow. Moore's attorneys had asked justices to block the execution plan so they could ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review whether his crime rises to the level of a death penalty offense. Moore has spent more than two decades on death row for the 1999 killing of convenience store clerk James Mahoney in Spartanburg.
  • Police say they have have identified two more suspects in a Saturday shootout inside a crowded South Carolina mall in which nine people were shot. Columbia Police Chief W.H. "Skip" Holbrook on Monday announced the arrest of 20-year-old Marquise Love Robinson and said police are seeking a third suspect named Amari Sincere-Jamal Smith. In addition to the nine people who were shot, six others were injured while fleeing Columbiana Centre on Saturday afternoon. A 22-year-old man is already facing charges in connection with the shooting. State police are also investigating another weekend shooting in Hampton County that injured at least nine.
  • Authorities say they have arrested a suspect in connection with a shooting at a busy shopping mall in South Carolina's capital on Saturday that left 14 people injured. Columbia Police Chief W.H. "Skip" Holbrook says 22-year-old Jewayne M. Price is in police custody and is expected to be charged with unlawful carrying of a pistol. Price was one of three people initially detained by law enforcement as a person of interest. It is not immediately known if he has an attorney who could speak on his behalf. Holbrook says no fatalities have been reported but that 14 people were injured. Police say nine of the 14 people were shot and the other five people suffered injuries while attempting to flee.
  • A South Carolina prisoner scheduled for execution later this month has chosen to die by firing squad rather than in the electric chair. Court documents filed Friday listed Richard Moore's decision. Moore's April 29 execution would make him the first person executed in the state since 2011. His attorneys have asked the state Supreme Court to halt the execution while another court considers whether the state's capital punishment methods are constitutional. A state law that went into effect last year set electrocution as the default method and added a firing squad option. Correction officials have maintained they are unable to obtain the drugs needed for lethal injection, the state's third method.
  • The South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice says it will reform its beleaguered central prison for youths through a federal agreement. The settlement agreement announced Thursday follows a report from the U.S. Department of Justice that found state officials were violating the rights of incarcerated youths. State officials say they will now ensure facilities are properly staffed, offer rehabilitative programming and revise use-of-force policies, among other measures. Federal investigators say the agency has failed to protect youths from fights and forced them to spend days or weeks in isolation for small offenses. The Justice Department says agency employees have also harmed children by using excessive force such as choking, punching and kicking.
  • A judge has ruled that a lawsuit brought by four death row inmates challenging South Carolina's execution methods can move forward. Circuit Judge Jocelyn Newman made the ruling Thursday. Lawyers for the inmates asked Newman to closely examine prison officials' claims that they can't secure lethal injection drugs, leaving the electric chair and the firing squad as the only options for execution.