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SC Victims Rights Amendment


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(A) To preserve and protect victims' rights to justice and due process regardless of race, sex, age, religion, or economic status, victims of crime have the right to:

(1) be treated with fairness, respect, and dignity, and to be free from intimidation, harassment, or abuse, throughout the criminal and juvenile justice process, and informed of the victim's constitutional rights, provided by statute;

(2) be reasonably informed when the accused or convicted person is arrested, released from custody, or has escaped;

(3) be informed of and present at any criminal proceedings which are dispositive of the charges where the defendant has the right to be present;

(4) be reasonably informed of and be allowed to submit either a written or oral statement at all hearings affecting bond or bail;

(5) be heard at any proceeding involving a post-arrest release decision, a plea, or sentencing;

(6) be reasonably protected from the accused or persons acting on his behalf throughout the criminal justice process;

(7) confer with the prosecution, after the crime against the victim has been charged, before the trial or before any disposition and informed of the disposition;

(8) have reasonable access after the conclusion of the criminal investigation to all documents relating to the crime against the victim before trial;

(9) receive prompt and full restitution from the person or persons convicted of the criminal conduct that caused the victim's loss or injury including both adult and juvenile offenders;

(10) be informed of any proceeding when any post-conviction action is being considered, and be present at any post-conviction hearing involving a post-conviction release decision;

(11) a reasonable disposition and prompt and final conclusion of the case;

(12) have all rules governing criminal procedure and the admissibility of evidence in all criminal proceedings protect victims' rights and have these rules subject to amendment or repeal by the legislature to ensure protection of these rights.


SECTION 16-3-1520. Victim entitled to copy of initial incident report; assistance in applying for victim's compensation benefits; information on progress of case.

(A) A law enforcement agency must provide a victim, free of charge, a copy of the initial incident report of his case, and a document which:

(1) describes the constitutional rights the State grants victims in criminal cases;

(2) describes the responsibilities of victims in exercising these rights;

(3) lists local victim assistance and social service providers;

(4) provides information on eligibility and application for victim's compensation benefits; and

(5) provides information about the rights of victims and witnesses who are harassed or threatened.

(B) A law enforcement agency, within a reasonable time of initial contact, must assist each eligible victim in applying for victim's compensation benefits and other available financial, social service, and counseling assistance.

(C) Law enforcement victim advocates, upon request, may intervene with, and seek special consideration from, creditors of a victim who is temporarily unable to continue payments as a result of an offense and with the victim's employer, landlord, school, and other parties as considered appropriate through the investigative process.

(D) A law enforcement agency, upon request, must make a reasonable attempt to inform a victim of the status and progress of his case from initial incident through:

(1) disposition in summary court;

(2) the referral of a juvenile offender to the Department of Juvenile Justice; or

(3) transmittal of a general sessions warrant to the prosecuting agency.


SECTION 16-3-1525. Arrest or detention of person accused of committing offense; notification to victims; protection of witnesses; notification of bond proceedings; juvenile detention hearings.

(G) A law enforcement agency must provide any measures necessary to protect the victims and witnesses, including transportation to and from court and physical protection in the courthouse.


SECTION 16-3-1550. Restriction on employers of victims and witnesses; protection of rights of victims and witnesses.

(A) Employers of victims and witnesses must not retaliate against or suspend or reduce the wages and benefits of a victim or witness who lawfully responds to a subpoena. A wilful violation of this provision constitutes contempt of court.


SECTION 16-3-1560. Notification to victim of post-conviction proceedings affecting probation, parole, or release, and of victim's right to attend.

(A) The Department of Corrections, the Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services, the Board of Juvenile Parole, or the Department of Juvenile Justice, as appropriate, reasonably must attempt to notify each victim, who has indicated a desire to be notified, of post-conviction proceedings affecting the probation, parole, or release of the offender, including proceedings brought under Chapter 48 of Title 44, and of the victim's right to attend and comment at these proceedings. This notification must be made sufficiently in advance to allow the victim to exercise his rights as they pertain to post-conviction proceedings.