All data is current as of 2013, unless otherwise noted.
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How the right to counsel is administered and structured
Branch of government: executive
The South Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense is a statewide body of the executive branch charged with overseeing the state’s delivery of indigent defense services. The commission has thirteen members. The governor appoints nine members: five appointments are based on the recommendations of the South Carolina Bar Association; and four are based on recommendations of the South Carolina Public Defender Association that must reflect geographic diversity from the state’s four judicial regions. The chief justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court makes two appointments: one must be a retired circuit court judge, and one must be a retired judge with either family court or appellate experience. The Senate and House Judiciary chairs each appoint one person from their respective committees.
The commission has the authority to promulgate standards regarding the provision of indigent defense services, including among others, attorney qualifications, performance, workload, training, data collection, attorney compensation, and indigency determinations.
The commission also oversees the state’s Office of Indigent Defense (OID). OID, through its central office: (1) provides day-to-day management of the statewide system; (2) processes and pays vouchers submitted by appointed counsel; (3) operates a statewide Appellate Division; and (4) maintains a Capital Trial Division.
How the right to counsel is funded
Percentage of local funding: 50%
Percentage of alternative funding: 0%
The methods used to provide public counsel
In capital cases, the Office of Indigent Defense has a Capital Trial Division that typically provides one attorney to work with a local public defender in any death penalty case of an indigent defendant.
For conflict cases and for primary representation in other types of cases (family court abuse and neglect cases, termination of parental rights cases, other family court matters, and post conviction relief cases), private attorneys are appointed. The Office of Indigent Defense processes and pays their vouchers.
All appeals on behalf of the indigent are handled by the Appellate Division of the Office of Indigent Defense.
Source of data: original research conducted by Sixth Amendment Center staff, augmented by information provided by the South Carolina Office of Indigent Defense.