South Carolina's attorney general is at odds with some prosecutors and state lawmakers over his $2.2 million proposal to put a prosecutor in every county to handle domestic violence cases, reports The State. Magistrate courts, where most domestic violence cases are heard, typically don't have prosecutors, and victims often lose their cases, Attorney General Henry McMaster contends. The plan, included in Gov. Mark Sanford's latest budget proposal, would dedicate a prosecutor to those courts in every county.
Robert Ariail, the prosecutor in two counties, said that $2.2 million “just isn't enough to get it done.” That amount divided equally among the state's 46 counties comes out to $47,826. Ariail said it would be difficult to hire lawyers at that rate. McMaster said having a prosecutor in every county would allow that person to work closely with government agencies and other service providers. In the long run, he said it will help break the cycle of violence that consistently has landed South Carolina among the states with the highest domestic violence homicide rates.