On July 12, 2013, South Carolina Lawyers Weekly published an article by Phillip Bantz entitled “Defense Bar Stunned to Find Docket-Control Committee Already at Work.” Charles Grose was interviewed and quoted in the article:
E. Charles Grose Jr., a [Greenwood] defense lawyer who argued on behalf of the Public Defender Association in Langford, said he had been waiting for [Chief Justice] Toal to make an announcement that she was seeking candidates to serve on the committee. Then he read in his local newspaper that the group was nearly done with its work.
“I’ve been looking for an announcement and I never received one,” he said. “The fact that the committee is all former and current prosecutors, I think it really calls into question the public confidence in the ability of the judiciary to have control of the docket.”
For the process to maintain public confidence, all stakeholders in the criminal justice should be involved in the implementation of Langford. After all, the Supreme Court’s order denying rehearing in Langford promised:
To assist this Court, a committee will be appointed by the Chief Justice to propose a plan for the implementation of the changes necessary to docket management in the court of general sessions in light of the decision in this case. The committee will include a wide range of stockholders including representatives from the South Carolina Solicitors’ Association, the South Carolina Public Defenders Association, the South Carolina Clerks of Court Association, Court Administration, the practicing bar and the judiciary.
Click these links to read prior blog posts entitled SC Supreme Court Watch: More News Regarding the Implementation of State v. Langford, SC Supreme Court Watch: Implementation of State v. Langford and Constitutional Crisis: General Sessions Court Docket Management.
Disclosure: Charles Grose represented the South Carolina Public Defender Association asamicus curie in State v. Langford.
About SC Supreme Court Watch: SC Supreme Court Watch is a recurring series dedicated to identifying potentially significant criminal law issues pending before the Court and reporting administrative actions by the Court involving our state’s criminal justice system.