Attorney General Alan Wilson and several top law enforcement chiefs Wednesday unveiled a list of 10 legislative priorities they said they will work to pass by the session’s end in June.
The priorities – mostly nuts-and-bolts criminal matters – address issues that have been percolating in the General Assembly for years but have so far failed to pass.
One, for example, would give prosecution and defense lawyers an equal number of strikes against potential jurors. Currently, defense lawyers have twice as many jury strikes as prosecutors for serious crimes such as murder and armed robbery.
The joint law enforcement lobbying effort was said by Wilson to be the first ever in the state. Different agencies have tended to go their own way and lobby lawmakers for narrow interests, Wilson said.
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“There are so many things we agree on – it’s so important that we speak with one voice,” Wilson said.
Joining with Wilson were SLED Chief Mark Keel, State Solicitors’ Association president David Pascoe and S.C. Sheriffs’ Association executive director Jeff Moore.
In future years, Wilson said, he wants to bring other law enforcement organizations to the informal coalition “to speak with a unified voice. ... This is not Republican or Democrat.”
One priority was for more funding for law enforcement and prosecutors, but no overall figure was given.