Current Status Bill Number:
265Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: SenateIntroduced Date: 19950110Primary Sponsor: StilwellAll Sponsors: Stilwell, Courtney, Rose, GieseDrafted Document Number: JUD6011.HSSResiding Body: HouseCurrent Committee: Judiciary Committee 25 HJSubject: County grand jury
Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ _______________________________________ _______ ____________ House 19950215 Introduced, read first time, 25 HJ referred to Committee Senate 19950214 Read third time, sent to House Senate 19950209 Read second time Senate 19950208 Committee report: Favorable 11 SJ Senate 19950110 Introduced, read first time, 11 SJ referred to Committee Senate 19941114 Prefiled, referred to Committee 11 SJView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
February 8, 1995
S. Printed 2/8/95--S.
Read the first time January 10, 1995.
To whom was referred a Bill (S. 265), to amend Article 13, Chapter 7, Title 14 of the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, relating to grand juries, etc., respectfully
That they have duly and carefully considered the same, and recommend that the same do pass:
H. SAMUEL STILWELL, for Committee.
TO AMEND ARTICLE 13, CHAPTER 7, TITLE 14 OF THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO GRAND JURIES, BY ADDING SECTION 14-7-1595, SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR EMPOWERING A COUNTY GRAND JURY TO INVESTIGATE CERTAIN OFFENSES AND GIVING THE SOLICITOR CERTAIN ADDITIONAL POWERS AND AUTHORITIES BEFORE A COUNTY GRAND JURY EMPOWERED TO INVESTIGATE THOSE OFFENSES.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Article 13, Chapter 7, Title 14 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 14-7-1595. (A) For purposes of this section:
(1) `Clerk' means the clerk of court for common pleas or general sessions court;
(2) `Public corruption' means any unlawful activity under color of or in connection with any public office or employment of:
(a) any public official, public member, or public employee, or the agent, servant, assignee, consultant, contractor, vendor, designee, appointee, representative, or any other person of like relationship, by whatever designation known, of any public official, public member, or public employee under color of or in connection with any public office or employment; or
(b) any candidate for public office or the agent, servant, assignee, consultant, contractor, vendor, designee, appointee, representative, or any other person of like relationship, by whatever name known, of any candidate for public office;
(3) `Solicitor' also includes:
(a) the solicitor or his designee or designees;
(b) the solicitor and his designee or designees.
(B) The provisions of this section apply only if a county grand jury is empowered to investigate the following offenses:
(1) crimes involving narcotics, dangerous drugs, or controlled substances, or any crime arising out of or in connection with a crime involving narcotics, dangerous drugs, or controlled substances, including, but not limited to, money laundering as specified in Section 44-53-475, obstruction of justice, perjury or subornation of perjury, and crimes involving obscenity or any attempt, aiding, abetting, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit any of the aforementioned crimes;
(2) `white collar' crimes or nonviolent crimes by corporations or individuals including theft or fraud and other violations of trust committed in the course of the offender's occupation or profession, including, but not limited to, embezzlement, price fixing, or antitrust violations;
(3) any crime, statutory, common law or other, involving public corruption; any crime, statutory, common law or other, arising out of or in connection with a crime involving public corruption; and any attempt, aiding, abetting, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit any crime, statutory, common law or other, involving public corruption;
(4) crimes involving the election laws, including, but not limited to, those named offenses as specified in Title 7, or any common law crimes involving the election laws where not superseded, or any crime arising out of or in connection with the election laws, or any attempt, aiding, abetting, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit a crime involving the election laws;
(5) crimes involving the waters, ambient air, soil or land, or both soil and land, including, but not limited to, the State Safe Drinking Water Act, the Pollution Control Act, the Infectious Waste Management Act, the Hazardous Waste Management Act, the Solid Waste Policy and Management Act, the State Underground Petroleum Response Act, and the Atomic Energy Response Act, or offenses involving the environment which are specified in Titles 13, 44, and 48 of the 1976 Code, or any common law crimes involving environmental laws not superseded, or any crime arising out of or in connection with environmental law, or an attempt, aiding, abetting, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit a crime involving the environment.
(C) The solicitor may petition in writing to the chief administrative judge of the judicial circuit for an order empowering a county grand jury to investigate the offenses listed in subsection (B). This judge is referred to in this section as the empowering judge. The petition must allege the type of offenses to be inquired into and in all instances must specify that the public interest is served by the empowerment.
(D) The empowering judge, after due consideration of the petition, may order the empowerment of a county grand jury in accordance with the petition.
(E) The chief administrative judge of the circuit wherein a county grand jury empowered under this section is sitting shall preside over that county grand jury during his tenure as chief administrative judge. The successor chief administrative judge shall assume all duties and responsibilities with regard to any county grand jury empowered before his term, including, but not limited to, presiding over the county grand jury and ruling on petitions to extend its term. This judge is referred to in this section as the presiding judge.
(F) The presiding judge may discharge a county grand jury empowered under this section prior to the end of its original term or any extension thereof, upon a determination that its business has been completed or upon the request of the solicitor.
(G) If, at any time within the original term of any county grand jury empowered under this section or any extension thereof, the presiding judge determines that the county grand jury is not conducting investigative activity within its jurisdiction or proper investigative activity, the presiding judge may limit the investigation so that the investigation conforms with the jurisdiction of the county grand jury and existing law or he may discharge the county grand jury. An order issued pursuant to this subsection or under subsection (F) shall not become effective less than ten days after the date on which it is issued and actual notice given to the solicitor and the foreman of the county grand jury empowered under this section, and may be appealed by the solicitor to the Supreme Court. If an appeal from the order is made, the county grand jury empowered under this section, except as is otherwise ordered by the Supreme Court, shall continue to exercise its powers pending disposition of the appeal.
(H) The solicitor shall attend sessions of a county grand jury empowered under this section and shall serve as its legal advisor. The solicitor shall examine witnesses, present evidence, and draft indictments and reports upon the direction of a county grand jury empowered under this section.
(I) The clerk, upon the request of the solicitor, shall issue subpoenas or subpoenas duces tecum to compel individuals, documents, or other materials to be brought from anywhere in this State to a county grand jury empowered under this section. In addition, a county grand jury empowered under this section may proceed in the same manner as provided by the subpoena rules of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure and Sections 19-9-10 through 19-9-130, except where either is inconsistent with the provisions of this section; provided the subpoena rules of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure and Sections 19-9-10 through 19-9-130 are not considered a limitation upon this section, but supplemental thereto. The subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum may be for investigative purposes and for the retention of documents or other materials so subpoenaed for proper criminal proceedings. Any law enforcement officer with appropriate jurisdiction is empowered to serve these subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum and receive these documents and other materials for return to a county grand jury empowered under this section. Any person violating a subpoena or subpoena duces tecum issued pursuant to this section, or who fails to fully answer all questions put to him before proceedings of a county grand jury where the response thereto is not privileged or otherwise protected by law, including the granting of immunity as authorized by subsection (K), may be punished by the presiding judge for contempt. To this end, where the violation or failure to answer is alleged to have occurred, the solicitor may petition the presiding judge to compel compliance by the person alleged to have committed the violation or who has failed to answer. If the presiding judge considers compliance is warranted, he may order this compliance and may punish the individual for contempt where the compliance does not occur. The clerk also may issue subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum to compel individuals, documents, or other materials to be brought from anywhere in this State to the trial of any indictment returned by a county grand jury or the trial of any civil forfeiture action arising out of an investigation conducted by a county grand jury empowered under this section.
(J) A court reporter shall record, either stenographically or by use of an electronic recording device, all proceedings except when a county grand jury empowered under this section is deliberating or voting. Subject to the same substantive conditions and limitations contained in Section 14-7-1720(A) and (D) and Rule 5, South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure, a defendant has the right to review and to reproduce the stenographically or electronically recorded materials. Transcripts of the recorded testimony or proceedings must be made when requested by the solicitor. Subject to the same substantive conditions and limitations contained in Section 14-7-1720(A) and (D) and Rule 5, South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure, a copy of the transcript of the recorded testimony or proceedings requested by the solicitor shall be provided to the defendant by the court reporter, upon request, at the transcript rate established by the Office of Court Administration. An unintentional failure of any recording to reproduce all or any portion of the testimony or proceedings does not affect the validity of the prosecution. The recording or reporter's notes or any transcript prepared therefrom and all books, papers, records, correspondence, or other documents produced before a county grand jury must remain in the custody and control of the solicitor unless otherwise ordered by the court in a particular case.
(K) If any person asks to be excused from testifying before a county grand jury empowered under this section or from producing any books, papers, records, correspondence, or other documents before a county grand jury on the grounds that the testimony or evidence required of him may tend to incriminate him or subject him to any penalty or forfeiture and is notwithstanding directed by the presiding judge to give the testimony or produce the evidence, he must comply with this direction, but he must not thereafter be prosecuted or subjected to a penalty or forfeiture for or on account of any transaction, matter, or thing concerning which he may testify or produce evidence pursuant thereto, and no testimony so given or evidence produced may be received against him in any criminal action, criminal investigation, or criminal proceeding. No individual testifying or producing evidence or documents is exempt from prosecution or punishment for any perjury committed by him while so testifying, and the testimony or evidence given or produced is admissible against him upon any criminal action, criminal investigation, or criminal proceeding concerning this perjury; provided that any individual may execute, acknowledge, and file a statement with the appropriate court expressly waiving immunity or privilege in respect to any transaction, matter, or thing specified in the statement and thereupon the testimony of the person or the evidence in relation to the transaction, matter, or thing may be received or produced before any judge or justice, court, tribunal, grand jury, or otherwise, and if so received or produced, the individual is not entitled to any immunity or privilege on account of any testimony he may give or evidence produced.
(L) Any additional expenses caused by the empowering of a county grand jury under the provisions of this section which would not normally be paid for out of county funds must be paid for out of the solicitor's existing budget.
(M) A solicitor shall not grant immunity as provided in subsection (K) unless it is first approved in writing by the Attorney General."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.