Increase the Number Of Behavior Days An Inmate Who has Committed A “No Parole Offense”

 

imates tablets

 

A  BILL  H-5120

TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 24-13-233 SO AS TO PROVIDE THE PROCEDURE WHEREBY REDUCTIONS IN AN INMATE’S SENTENCE ARE CALCULATED; BY ADDING ARTICLE 7, TO CHAPTER 27, TITLE 24 SO AS TO PROVIDE THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH AN INMATE WHO HAS BEEN INCARCERATED AT LEAST FIFTEEN YEARS MAY PETITION THE COURT TO HAVE HIS SENTENCE MODIFIED; TO AMEND SECTION 24-13-150, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE EARLY RELEASE OF AN INMATE, SO AS TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF YEARS AN INMATE WHO HAS COMMITTED A “NO PAROLE OFFENSE” MUST SERVE BEFORE HE MAY BECOME ELIGIBLE FOR EARLY RELEASE, DISCHARGE, OR COMMUNITY SUPERVISION, AND TO PROVIDE A PROCEDURE THAT ALLOWS CERTAIN INMATES TO PETITION THE COURT TO MODIFY THEIR SENTENCE; TO AMEND SECTION 24-13-210, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO CREDIT GIVEN TO AN INMATE FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR, SO AS TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF GOOD BEHAVIOR DAYS AN INMATE WHO HAS COMMITTED A “NO PAROLE OFFENSE” MAY RECEIVE; TO PROVIDE THAT THIS ACT APPLIES TO CERTAIN OFFENSES COMMITTED BEFORE THE DATE OF ENACTMENT; AND TO PROVIDE THAT CERTAIN PERSONS MAY PETITION THE COURT TO HAVE THEIR SENTENCES REDUCED.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION    1.    Article 3, Chapter 13, Title 24 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

“Section 24-13-233.    The total of all reductions in the sentence of a person convicted of a ‘no parole offense’ as defined in Section 24-13-100 and sentenced to the Department of Corrections, including an inmate serving time in a local facility pursuant to a designated facility agreement authorized by Section 24-3-20 or 24-3-30 must be deducted from his minimum term of imprisonment to determine the date of his eligibility for release on parole, and from his maximum term of imprisonment to determine the date when his release on parole becomes mandatory.”

SECTION    2.    Chapter 27, Title 24 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

“Article 7Sentence ModificationSection 24-27-600.    (A)    Notwithstanding another provision of law, upon a petition filed with the solicitor and the judge who participated in the trial of an inmate who has served at least fifteen years of any sentence of imprisonment, the sentencing judge or court may modify the inmate’s sentence.

(B)    After an inmate files an initial petition pursuant to this section, he may file a future petition at intervals not to exceed two years.

(C)    This section applies only to an inmate who has completed a rehabilitation program, an education program, or who has exhibited exemplary conduct.”

SECTION    3.    Section 24-13-150 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 237 of 2010, is further amended to read:

“Section 24-13-150.    (A)    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, except in a case in which the death penalty or a term of life imprisonment is imposed, an inmate convicted of a ‘no parole offense’ as defined in Section 24-13-100 and sentenced to the custody of the Department of Corrections, including an inmate serving time in a local facility pursuant to a designated facility agreement authorized by Section 24-3-20 or Section 24-3-30, is not eligible for early release, discharge, or community supervision as provided in Section 24-21-560, until the inmate has served at least eighty-five sixty-five percent of the actual term of imprisonment imposed. This percentage must be calculated without the application of earned work credits, education credits, or good conduct credits, and is to be applied to the actual term of imprisonment imposed, not including any portion of the sentence which has been suspended. Nothing in this section may be construed to allow an inmate convicted of murder or an inmate prohibited from participating in work release, early release, discharge, or community supervision by another provision of law to be eligible for work release, early release, discharge, or community supervision.

(B)    If an inmate sentenced to the custody of the Department of Corrections and confined in a facility of the department, confined in a local facility pursuant to a designated facility agreement authorized by Section 24-3-20 or Section 24-3-30, or temporarily confined, held, detained, or placed in a facility which is not under the direct control of the department, to include an inmate on a labor crew or any other assigned detail or placement, or an inmate in transport status, commits an offense or violates one of the rules of the institution during his term of imprisonment, all or part of the credit he has earned may be forfeited in the discretion of the Director of the Department of Corrections. If an inmate sentenced to a local detention facility or upon the public works of any county in this State, even when temporarily confined, held, detained, or placed in any facility which is not under the direct control of the local detention facility, to include an inmate on a labor crew or any other assigned detail or placement, or an inmate in transport status, commits an offense or violates one of the rules of the institution during his term of imprisonment, all or part of the credit he has earned may be forfeited in the discretion of the local official having charge of the inmate. The decision to withhold credits is solely the responsibility of officials named in this subsection.

(C)    An inmate who has served at least sixty-five percent of his sentence for a ‘no parole offense’ and is not eligible for parole may petition the sentencing judge to modify his sentence. This subsection applies only to an inmate who has completed a rehabilitation program, an education program, or has exhibited exemplary conduct.”

SECTION    4.    Section 24-13-210(B) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 237 of 2010, is further amended to read:

“(B)    An inmate convicted of a ‘no parole offense’ against this State as defined in Section 24-13-100 and sentenced to the custody of the Department of Corrections, including an inmate serving time in a local facility pursuant to a designated facility agreement authorized by Section 24-3-20 or Section 24-3-30, whose record of conduct shows that he has faithfully observed all the rules of the institution where he is confined and has not been subjected to punishment for misbehavior, is entitled to a deduction from the term of his sentence beginning with the day on which the service of his sentence commences to run, computed at the rate of three six days for each month served. However, no inmate serving a sentence for life imprisonment or a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for thirty years pursuant to Section 16-3-20 is entitled to credits under this provision. No inmate convicted of a ‘no parole offense’ is entitled to a reduction below the minimum term of incarceration provided in Section 24-13-125 or 24-13-150. When two or more consecutive sentences are to be served, the aggregate of the several sentences is the basis upon which the good conduct credit is computed.”

SECTION 5.    This act shall apply to any offense that was committed before its date of enactment if a sentence for the offense has not been imposed on or prior to the date of its enactment.

SECTION 6.    A person who was convicted and sentenced before the enactment date of this act for an offense for which the penalty is amended by this act may petition the sentencing court to reduce the term of imprisonment for the offense. The court must consider the nature and seriousness of the danger that the convicted person poses to any person or the community and the post-sentencing conduct of the person when it reviews a petition for a reduction of a term of imprisonment.

SECTION    7.    The repeal or amendment by this act of any law, whether temporary or permanent or civil or criminal, does not affect pending actions, rights, duties, or liabilities founded thereon, or alter, discharge, release or extinguish any penalty, forfeiture, or liability incurred under the repealed or amended law, unless the repealed or amended provision shall so expressly provide. After the effective date of this act, all laws repealed or amended by this act must be taken and treated as remaining in full force and effect for the purpose of sustaining any pending or vested right, civil action, special proceeding, criminal prosecution, or appeal existing as of the effective date of this act, and for the enforcement of rights, duties, penalties, forfeitures, and liabilities as they stood under the repealed or amended laws.

SECTION    8.    If any section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this act is for any reason held to be unconstitutional or invalid, such holding shall not affect the constitutionality or validity of the remaining portions of this act, the General Assembly hereby declaring that it would have passed this act, and each and every section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, and word thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more other sections, subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, sentences, clauses, phrases, or words hereof may be declared to be unconstitutional, invalid, or otherwise ineffective.

SECTION 9.    This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

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A Bill to Declare January 17th of Each Year “Eartha Kitt Day” In South Carolina

eartha_kitt
Folks great news from Representative Gilda Cobb Hunter
Senate Judiciary Committee will hear H.3036 on Tuesday April 19th, 2016.
This Bill will declare January 17th, every year Eartha Kitt Day in South Carolina.
H 3036
Session 121 (2015-2016)

 

H 3036 General Bill, By Cobb-Hunter, Bamberg and McKnight
 A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION
 53-3-75 SO AS TO DECLARE JANUARY SEVENTEENTH OF EACH YEAR AS "EARTHA KITT DAY"
 IN SOUTH CAROLINA IN HONOR OF THE LATE EARTHA MAE KITT, NATIONALLY AND
 INTERNATIONALLY KNOWN ACTRESS, SINGER, AND NATIVENext SOUTH CAROLINIAN AND TO
 PROMOTE CULTURAL TOURISM IN THE STATE IN ORDER TO ENHANCE THE ECONOMIC
 WELL-BEING AND IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE OF ALL SOUTH CAROLINIANS.

   12/11/14  House  Prefiled
   12/11/14  House  Referred to Committee on Judiciary
   01/13/15  House  Introduced and read first time (House Journal-page 73)
   01/13/15  House  Referred to Committee on Judiciary
                     (House Journal-page 73)
   03/09/16  House  Recalled from Committee on Judiciary
                     (House Journal-page 18)
   03/10/16  House  Read second time (House Journal-page 14)
   03/10/16  House  Roll call Yeas-97  Nays-0 (House Journal-page 14)
   03/10/16  House  Unanimous consent for third reading on next
                     legislative day (House Journal-page 16)
   03/10/16         Scrivener's error corrected
   03/11/16  House  Read third time and sent to Senate
                     (House Journal-page 1)
   03/15/16  Senate Introduced and read first time (Senate Journal-page 8)
   03/15/16  Senate Referred to Committee on Judiciary
                     (Senate Journal-page 8)


 

VERSIONS OF THIS BILL

12/11/2014
3/9/2016
3/10/2016


 

H. 3036RECALLED

March 9, 2016

H. 3036

Introduced by Reps. Cobb-Hunter, Bamberg and McKnightS. Printed 3/9/16–H.    [SEC 3/10/16 7:26 PM]

Read the first time January 13, 2015.

            A BILLTO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 53-3-75 SO AS TO DECLARE JANUARY SEVENTEENTH OF EACH YEAR AS “EARTHA KITT DAY” IN SOUTH CAROLINA IN HONOR OF THE LATE EARTHA MAE KITT, NATIONALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY KNOWN ACTRESS, SINGER, AND PreviousNATIVENext SOUTH CAROLINIAN AND TO PROMOTE CULTURAL TOURISM IN THE STATE IN ORDER TO ENHANCE THE ECONOMIC WELL-BEING AND IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE OF ALL SOUTH CAROLINIANS.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION    1.    (A)    The General Assembly finds that it is important to support efforts to increase tourism in the State, the state’s number one industry, and particularly to encourage cultural tourism with an emphasis on increasing visitors to undiscovered South Carolina rural areas outside of well-known tourist destinations in the State. The state’s recognition and subsequent celebration of the lives of prominent PreviousnativeNext South Carolinians is one outstanding way to support this effort and the 2.5 million media campaign by the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism to attract both in-state and out-of-state visitors to the lesser-known areas of our great State.

(B)    The late Eartha Mae Kitt was a nationally and internationally known actress, singer, and cabaret star who was born in the town of North, South Carolina, a small community in Orangeburg County, on January 17, 1927. Her mother was of Cherokee and African-American descent and her father of German or Dutch descent. She was raised by Anna Mae Riley, an African-American woman whom she believed to be her mother. After Riley’s death, she was sent to live in New York City with Mamie Kitt, who she learned was her biological mother. She had no knowledge of her father, except that his surname was Kitt and that he was supposedly a son of the owner of the farm where she had been born.

(C)    Ms. Kitt began her career as a member of the Katherine Dunham Company in 1943 and remained a member of the troupe until 1948. A talented singer with a distinctive voice, she had many hits including her most recognizable hit, “Santa Baby”, which was released in 1953. Ms. Kitt’s unique style was enhanced as she became fluent in the French language during her years performing in Europe. Her English-speaking performances always seemed to be enriched by a soft French feel. She had skill in other languages too, as she spoke four languages and sang in seven, which she effortlessly demonstrated in many of the live recordings of her cabaret performances.

(D)    In 1950, Orson Welles gave Ms. Kitt her first starring role as Helen of Troy in his staging of “Dr. Faustus”. Orson Welles and Ms. Kitt were very close professionally and he once referred to her as the “most exciting woman in the world”. Throughout the rest of the 1950s and early 1960s, Ms. Kitt would record, work in film, television, and nightclubs, and return to the Broadway stage in “Mrs. Patterson” during the 1954-1955 season, and in “Shinbone Alley” in 1957. Also, in the 1960s, the television series “Batman” featured her as Catwoman after Julie Newmar left the role, and is perhaps her most famous television role.

(E)    In 1968, during the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson, she encountered a professional setback after she made anti-war statements during a White House luncheon. Ms. Kitt was invited to a White House luncheon and was asked by Lady Bird Johnson about the Vietnam War. She replied, “You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed. No wonder the kids rebel and take pot”. There was extreme public reaction to Ms. Kitt’s statements, both pro and con, and for a period of time thereafter, she devoted her energies primarily to performances in Europe and Asia.

(F)    Eartha Kitt was throughout her career a favorite of international audiences. She became a cultural icon among many audiences outside the United States through her famous Monty Python sketch “The Cycling Tour”, which she performed before an enthusiastic crowd in Moscow, where an amnesiac believes he is first Clodagh Rodgers, then Trotsky, and finally Ms. Kitt. She was also widely followed in the United Kingdom as a recording artist. In 1984, “Where Is My Man”, the first certified gold record of her career, reached the Top 40 on the UK Singles Chart where it peaked at #36. Her 1989 follow-up hit “Cha-Cha Heels”, featuring Bronski Beat, received a positive response from UK dance clubs and reached #32 in the charts in that country.

(G)    In her personal life, she married John Williams McDonald, an associate of a real estate investment company on June 6, 1960. They divorced in 1965. Their only child, a daughter named Kitt, was born on November 26, 1961. Kitt McDonald married Charles Lawrence Shapiro in 1987 and had two children, Jason and Rachel Shapiro. A long-time Connecticut resident, Ms. Kitt lived in a converted barn on a sprawling farm in the Merryall section of New Milford for many years and was active in local charities and causes throughout Litchfield County. In 2002, Ms. Kitt moved to the southern Fairfield County, Connecticut town of Weston, to be near her daughter’s family where she died from colon cancer on Christmas Day, 2008.

(H)    In 2014, the Orangeburg Times and Democrat recognized the talented songstress with the highly distinctive singing style on Day 5 of its “Vintage Orangeburg County” series, “100 Objects in 100 Days”. The series highlighted the rich cultural history of Orangeburg County and told the stories of people, places, objects, and “things” that express the unique nature of Orangeburg County. The list would not be complete without the inclusion of the one-of-a-kind Eartha Mae Kitt.

(I)    The members of the General Assembly believe it would be a fitting tribute to her memory and career, and an example to young South Carolinians of what a person with talent, drive, and ambition can achieve regardless of circumstances, if her birthday were officially recognized as “Eartha Kitt Day” in South Carolina each year. In addition, establishing an official day to commemorate the life of this PreviousnativeNext South Carolinian could potentially positively impact the State economically as such a day may attract visitors to the State to patronize its businesses as this remarkable woman is celebrated thereby promoting cultural tourism in the State.

SECTION    2.    Chapter 3, Title 53 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

“Section 53-3-75.    January seventeenth of each year, the birthday of the late actress, singer, and Previousnative South Carolinian Eartha Mae Kitt, is declared to be ‘Eartha Kitt Day’ in South Carolina.”

SECTION    3.    This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

Hearing puts Spotlight On SC Transgender Bathroom Bill

When Danielle Driscoll’s child came out to her as transgender and began transitioning last year from female to male, they were in the process of moving to Columbia.

“I was really proud of him,” said Driscoll, recalling how her 13-year-old son started the school year by writing a note to his new teachers, explaining that he was transitioning and asking if they would call him by his new name and refer to him using male pronouns.

“That took a lot of courage, especially in a brand-new school, and a brand-new place,” Driscoll said. “That was kind of the start. It was like, ‘OK, we’re doing this.’ ”

Her son will take another step by joining other members of the transgender community and their allies by testifying Wednesday morning against a Senate bill that would end transgender men and women using the bathrooms of their choice.

After the hearing, more than a dozen transgender organizations are planning to participate in a rally outside the State House, organized by the Trans Student Alliance at the University of South Carolina.

The bill sponsored by state Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, has mobilized the state’s transgender community already energized by a similar law passed in North Carolina last month.

Driscoll says Bright’s bill is “such a bigger issue than what restroom you’re using,” she said. “Passing a bill like this feels like it would be saying, ‘It’s OK to not be accepting, and it’s OK to not allow him to feel safe in his environment..’ ”

Bright said he’s concerned more about the safety of women in restrooms than the feelings of transgender men and women.

“If a (small percentage) of the population wants to be something that a majority of the population thinks is strange and abnormal, that’s their business,” he said. “You can’t force people to accept something like that.”

Bright said he plans to have a top North Carolina lawmaker testify Wednesday about his state’s new HB2 law that includes a transgender bathroom ban. North Carolina House Majority Leader Mike Hager said seeing several Southern states considering similar laws shows, “That it’s good policy.”

Other testimony supporting the bill is being organized by the Columbia-based Palmetto Family Council, which sent an email blast Monday headlined, “Protect Our Children in Restrooms and Showers.”

Family Council president Oran Smith said he has asked a lawyer with Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom, which works on religious issues, to provide a legal analysis of the bill at the hearing Wednesday. While no reports about significant incidents about men using women’s restrooms have been reported to S.C. authorities, Smith said Bright’s bill “would head something off.”

Bright said he hopes to finish testimony this week so the bill could get a committee vote to go to the Senate floor next week.

But opposition is mounting. The state’s top Republican, Gov. Nikki Haley, called the bill unnecessary. State Sen. Joel Lourie, a Richland Democrat who will join Bright in presiding over the hearing Wednesday, said, “with all the blood in my veins and all the oxygen in my body” that he would block the proposal.

Bright’s bathroom bill would, if passed, make transgender students feel unsafe at school, said Greg Green, a 32-year-old transgender man who runs a support group for transgender people at his Columbia church.

“What it causes really is a lot of anxiety,” said Green, who plans to testify Wednesday. “My concern is the outing.”

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin said he plans to testify Wednesday about the economic benefits of his city having anti-discrimination ordinances based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

“I believe that this bill will cost the state millions in lost business,” he said. “We only have to look as far as North Carolina.”

Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender supporters have criticized North Carolina political leaders after the passage of bill that also ended local ordinance providing protections based on sexual orientation. Last week, online payment provider Paypal called off an expansion in Charlotte, and rock star Bruce Springsteen canceled a concert in Greensboro.

“There’s not a price for doing the right thing,” said Hager, a Republican from Rutherfordton. “My first role in office is protecting citizens, not how much business we can get.”

North Carolina Governor Pretends To Fix Anti-LGBT Law With Symbolic Executive Order

HB2

By Zack Ford April 12, 2016 3:09 pm

 

After several businesses have abandoned plans to expand in North Carolina and countless others have abandoned their travel to the state, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) issued an executive order Tuesday that addresses various aspects of HB 2, the anti-LGBT law that the state legislature forced through in a single day.

The second point of the order does nothing except reiterate what is already true about the law. It “affirms the private sector’s right to establish its own restroom and locker room policies.” HB2 did not ban private businesses from establishing LGBT protections, but that doesn’t mean businesseslike PayPal want to operate in a state where their employees still experience discrimination in schools and government buildings.

The third point states that cities and counties may establish nondiscrimination protections for their own employees. This sounds promising, but would actually make little difference. This seems to refer not to all employees who live in a city, but only the employees of a city. For example, Charlotte could pass an ordinance promising not to discriminate against its transgender employees, but then all of those employees would still have to work in government buildings in which they are not allowed to use the restroom that matches their gender identity. It would be symbolic equality, but no actual change.

The same is true for McCrory’s fourth point, which extends protections for LGBT employees of the state. In other states, this kind of executive order would be celebrated, as it was last week in Pennsylvania. However, all North Carolina state transgender employees will still continue to work in government buildings where they are prohibited from using the correct bathrooms. Thus, the symbolic embrace of protections still functions in a reality defined by discrimination.

The last point of McCrory’s ordinance calls for legislation to fix one piece of HB2, the ban on state discrimination lawsuits. This will be an important fix to help workers across the state to find justice if they experience workplace discrimination, such as one Charlotte bank vice president who claims he was fired because of his age. But the state still offers no statewide protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, so even if lawmakers came back to fix this one aspect of HB2, it still would not do anything to advance the LGBT community.

“Now I know these actions will not totally satisfy everyone,” McCrory said in his announcement. He probably isn’t wrong about that.