SC’s Chief Justice Tells State Lawmakers Sentencing Reform is Badly Needed


South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Toal told legislators this week that sentencing disparities were causing massive prison overpopulation. “Sentencing in the United States is a national disgrace,” Toal said in her annual state of the courts speech to the state’s General Assembly.

She noted that from 1970 through 2000 the nation's prison population increased six-fold. “This is a huge drain on state and local resources.” She pointed to neighboring North Carolina as a model for sentencing reform, noting that violent criminals there receive longer sentences while nonviolent offenders serve less time.


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