South Carolina Legislature


 

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H 3702
Session 110 (1993-1994) 

H 3702 General Bill, By H.G. Hutson, Allison, Askins, Bailey, J.J. Bailey, 
B.O. Baker, R.A. Barber, H. Brown, Cato, C.D. Chamblee, H.H. Clyborne, Cooper, 
Davenport, L.L. Elliott, T.L. Farr, S.E. Gonzales, Harrell, Haskins, J. Hines, 
D.N. Holt, W.S. Houck, T.E. Huff, Inabinett, M.F. Jaskwhich, Klauber, Lanford, 
C.V. Marchbanks, J.G. Mattos, Moody-Lawrence, Phillips, Richardson, Robinson, 
J.S. Shissias, Simrill, R. Smith, D. Smith, E.C. Stoddard, C.H. Stone, Stuart, 
Trotter, Vaughn, D.C. Waldrop, Walker, C.C. Wells, Wilder, Wilkins, D. Williams, 
Witherspoon, S.S. Wofford, H.G. Worley and Young-Brickell
 A Bill to amend the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding Section
 14-1-213 so as to impose an additional five dollar fee in court costs to be
 used exclusively for the defense of indigents in capital cases; to amend
 Section 16-3-26, relating to defense of indigents in capital cases, so as to
 reduce the number of court appointed attorneys, to establish a threshold for
 validation of fees and costs, to require a hearing on fees, costs, and other
 expenses, and to require the Supreme Court to promulgate a list of standard
 fees and expenses allowed; and to repeal Section 17-23-70 relating to
 appointment of counsel in capital cases.

   03/11/93  House  Introduced and read first time HJ-14
   03/11/93  House  Referred to Committee on Ways and Means HJ-14



A BILL

TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 14-1-213 SO AS TO IMPOSE AN ADDITIONAL FIVE DOLLAR FEE IN COURT COSTS TO BE USED EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE DEFENSE OF INDIGENTS IN CAPITAL CASES; TO AMEND SECTION 16-3-26, RELATING TO DEFENSE OF INDIGENTS IN CAPITAL CASES, SO AS TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF COURT APPOINTED ATTORNEYS, TO ESTABLISH A THRESHOLD FOR VALIDATION OF FEES AND COSTS, TO REQUIRE A HEARING ON FEES, COSTS, AND OTHER EXPENSES, AND TO REQUIRE THE SUPREME COURT TO PROMULGATE A LIST OF STANDARD FEES AND EXPENSES ALLOWED; AND TO REPEAL SECTION 17-23-70 RELATING TO APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL IN CAPITAL CASES.

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

SECTION 1. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 14-1-213. In addition to all other fees, fines, and court costs, there is imposed a fee of five dollars on every person who is convicted of, pleads guilty to, or pleads nolo contender to an offense in (1) general sessions court, or (2) magistrate's courts or municipal courts of this State, except for a nonmoving traffic offense. This fee must not be waived, reduced, or suspended. The clerk of court, magistrate, or municipal judge shall collect the fee imposed by this section and remit the proceeds to the State Treasurer on a monthly basis for deposit to the credit of the general fund of the State to be used exclusively for the defense of indigents in capital punishment cases."

SECTION 2. Section 16-3-26 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"Section 16-3-26. (A) Whenever the solicitor seeks the death penalty he shall notify the defense attorney of his intention to seek such penalty at least thirty days prior to before the trial of the case. At the request of the defense attorney, the defense attorney shall must be excused from all other trial duties ten days prior to before the term of court in which the trial is to be held.

(B) Whenever any a person is charged with murder and the death penalty is sought, the court, upon determining that such the person is unable financially to retain adequate legal counsel, shall appoint two attorneys one attorney to defend such the person in the at a trial of the action. One of the attorneys so The attorney appointed shall have at least five years' experience as a licensed attorney and at least three years' experience in the actual trial of felony cases, and only one of the attorneys so. The attorney appointed shall may be the Public Defender or a member of his staff.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the court shall order payment of fees and costs, not to exceed five thousand dollars per trial from funds appropriated for the defense of indigents. Fees and costs, including attorney fees, amounting to ten thousand dollars or less need not be approved by the court before completion of trial. Fees and costs in excess of ten thousand dollars anticipated by the defense must be submitted to the court for review and validation, as provided in this section, before trial is completed. Fees and costs in excess of the standard fees and costs must not be paid until after the hearing provided in this section.

(C) Upon a finding in ex parte proceedings that investigative, expert, or other services are reasonably necessary for the representation of the defendant whether in connection with issues relating to guilt or sentence, the court shall authorize the defendant's attorneys attorney to obtain such these services on behalf of the defendant and shall order the payment, of fees and expenses from state funds appropriated for the defense of indigents, of fees and expenses not to exceed twenty-five hundred dollars as the court shall deem considers appropriate. Upon a finding that timely procurement of such services cannot await prior authorization, the court may authorize the provision of and payment for such services nunc pro tunc.

(D) After completion of the trial, the court shall conduct a hearing to review and validate the fees, costs, and other expenditures on behalf of the defendant. In this hearing, the court shall review the list of standard fees and expenses and shall award payment based upon guidelines prepared and adopted by Court Administration for the defense of indigents. Payment as awarded by the court must be from funds generated for the defense of indigents.

(E) The Supreme Court, through Court Administration, shall promulgate a list of standard fees and expenses for use in the defense of indigents. The list must be reviewed biennially and adjusted as necessary by Court Administration. In addition, the ten thousand dollars spending threshold provided in this section also must be reviewed every five years and adjusted as necessary by Court Administration. The list of standard fees and expenses must be promulgated within sixty days of the effective date of this section."

SECTION 3. Section 17-23-70 of the 1976 Code is repealed.

SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

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