The Judicial Merit Selection Commission continues to meet this week to confirm S.C. Judges and Family Court Judges for the state of S.C.
S.C. Representative James Todd Rutherford sits on that powerful committee as he did in 2017.
“In 2017 Eugene “Bubba” Griffith stood before the commission for re-appointment as a South Carolina Circuit Judge, Eight Judicial Circuit, Seat 2.”
Rutherford speaks on the merits of having the legislature pick S.C. Judges
James Todd Rutherford is a Democratic member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, representing the 74th District since 1999. He is the Minority Leader of the S.C. House. Rutherford is also a trial lawyer.
In 2017 Eugene “Bubba” Griffith stood before the commission for re-appointment as a South Carolina Circuit Judge, Eight Judicial Circuit, Seat 2.
Representative Rutherford was among the commission members who re-appointed Judge Griffith.
In August of this year, Rutherford defended Kierin Dennis in Judge Griffith’s courtroom. Kierin was being tried for murder.
SHOULD TRIAL LAWYERS BE ALLOWED TO TRY CASES BEFORE JUDGES THEY APPOINT?
Concerns like these are being raised state-wide this week.
As the State newspaper reported August 27, 2019: Da’Von Capers, a 17-year old Dutch Fork High School senior, died within minutes after being stabbed in the chest with a knife in the parking lot of the Cook Out after a confrontation between Dutch Fork students and current and former Lexington High School students.
While a Lexington County jury found Kierin Dennis guilty of murder in the 2014 knife stabbing death of Da’Von Capers ethics concerns remain as to how Judges are picked in the State of S.C.
Only two states, South Carolina and Virginia, allow the legislature to pick state judges.
After the jury’s verdict, state Judge Eugene “Bubba” Griffith sentenced Dennis to 30 years in state prison. A murder conviction carries a mandatory 30-year minimum sentence in South Carolina. At the time of the crime, Dennis was 18.