Stand Up Charleston Initiative
Update: We should have titled this post “Marley Lion Died – Joe Riley Lied”
Several readers sent us a link to this news story regarding Mayor Riley’s and Chief Mullen’s “Stand Up Charleston Initiative”. We thought we would say a few words about it. You folks know we support our law enforcement officers in any way we can.
Unfortunately we find it necessary to publish this very public spanking of Chief Mullen and Mayor Riley. They were very deceptive with the information they disseminated to the public today. In typical fashion the press failed to ask the hard questions. They simply wrote down what their favorite politician said and reported it to you, the citizens, as gospel. We find it shameful that the words ‘reporter’ and ‘transcriptionist’ have now become largely synonymous in the journalism ‘profession’.
Before we begin the discussion, let’s review a couple of statutes taken from the SC Bench Book for Summary Court Judges.
Now, let’s read a pull quote from the news story linked above at WCSC’s site.
This section will allow summary court judges, like Linda “10K” Lombard to set bonds for offenses like 1st Degree Burglary, Manslaughter and other offenses where the penalty does not include death. Only circuit court judges can set bonds on these offenses at the moment. We aren’t too sure about allowing county magistrates, whom we have shown set ridiculously low bonds time and time again, to set bonds on even more serious charges. This appears to be an effort to allow less qualified judges to set bonds on the most serious charges.
As we can see by reading the proposed changes, there is nothing there about requiring judges to consider criminal histories and pending offenses when setting bonds. THAT REQUIREMENT IS ALREADY SET FORTH IN SOUTH CAROLINA LAW.
When a police officer makes an arrest he/she spend hours typing up warrant affidavits and incident reports. All of this information goes into a file, along with a printed copy of the defendant’s criminal history (rap sheet) and is presented to the judge presiding over the bond hearing. Criminal histories contain detailed arrest and conviction information and also contain information about pending charges. This is required by law. As we have seen countless times, bond judges seem to give this information very little weight.
In light of the recent hue and cry by the public over the execution of Marley Lion in a West Ashley parking lot, it would appear Riley and Mullen were engaging in political theater in an effort to abate the heat we are sure they have been feeling. While the stated goals of the ‘Stand Up Charleston Initiative’ are admirable, this sleight of hand by Riley tends to make the whole thing look rather pathetic and causes us considerable concern that the whole thing is nothing more than a poorly designed effort to alleviate the pressure being applied by an irate citizenry.
Apparently Mayor Riley and Chief Mullen don’t bother to read Charleston Thug Life or the comment sections of the various news sites. Many citizens of the Lowcountry have been stepping up for years and providing information. As far as we know we have yet to receive a response to our request for any anonymous CPD officer to help us out in identifying the Ardmore thugs we have profiled, but quite a few CITIZENS have generated leads in our comment section, the comment section of the media sites and in our e-mail.
We will withhold judgement on this initiative for now. We would also suggest Mayor Riley admit he was either misinformed about Senate Bill 45 or that he purposely misled his constituency.
Lacking either of those admissions and in the interest of justice we would encourage the citizens of the Lowcountry to continue assisting and supporting your law enforcement officers. Citizens should also keep turning the heat.
Update 2: Was the 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson present when Riley lied about the bond hearing process? If so, she should have spoken up to correct him. The fact that she didn’t tells us all we need to know about her and and her continued tenure as solicitor.
Was Harve Jacobs present when the Mayor lied? Harve attends a LOT of bond hearings and he should know better, too. Why didn’t he ask the hard question and put the Mayor on the spot for spewing misinformation?
Give them all a call on Monday and ask the hard questions yourself, citizen.