Solicitor Stone was on hand Wednesday for a press conference by S.C. House Speaker Murrell Smith to announce the chamber’s passage of a bill that would create additional penalties for defendants who commit crimes while free on bond.
The House passed a reform to the state’s bail bond system that supporters say will make it harder for defendants to commit crimes while awaiting trial, The Charleston Post and Courier reported. In his opening remarks, Speaker Smith thanked Solicitor Stone for his contributions to the bond-reform measure, as well as his plan to combat a backlog of General Sessions Court cases caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bond-reform bill would impose an additional 5-year sentence for defendants convicted of a violent crime while out on bond for a previous violent crime. It also would require those charged with a violent crime while out on bond to pay full cash bail.
The bill passed 92-20, with 10 Democrats joining with all House Republicans. Following a third reading Thursday, the bill moves to the Senate, which already is considering a similar measure. Gov. Henry McMaster called for the legislature to get a bond-reform bill to his desk during his State of the State address in January.
See Speaker Smith’s full press conference below, courtesy of the S.C. House Republican Caucus Facebook page.