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SC Domestic Violence Bill

A new bill pre-filed in the SC legislature for the 2014 session would make  penalties harsher for criminal domestic violence.

"My bill is not a silver bullet. There are still things that can be done. Some things we can't legislate. But this is a step in right direction," says Rep. Bakari Sellers (D - Bamberg Co.), the sponsor of the bill.

Provisions of the bill include mandatory intervention programs for the abuser, and the ability for judges to remove firearms from the person charged if there is a protective order in place.

But not everyone agrees it will have the intended consequence.

"The problem with increasing penalties for domestic violence is it creates a backlog," says Steve Hisker, a criminal defense attorney. "We already have a tremendous amount of cases that for the most part just clog the system. They camouflage true batterers. The pattern abusers, pattern assaults, they go hidden in a vast sea of cases that are just arguments."

The bill will be taken up in January when the new legislative session begins. To read the pre-filed bill, click here.


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