April 17, 2008

End Domestic-Violence "free pass"

Three years ago, the General Assembly rightly toughened criminal domestic violence penalties for repeat offenders. But our state law still confines the repeat-offender classification to those who committed the crimes in South Carolina. The S.C. House correctly passed legislation recently to expand that status to those who committed criminal domestic violence in other states. The S.C. Senate should follow suit. House Speaker Pro Tem Doug Smith, R-Spartanburg, the bill's primary sponsor, made a common-sense case for addressing "a clear inconsistency when it comes to CDV." Lynn Hawkins, executive director of the SAFE Homes/Rape Crisis Coalition, hailed the bill that would end the out-of-state loophole, telling the News: " The more we allow the situation to progress in terms of multiple offenses, then the higher the risk of a homicide." Our state consistently places among the nation's worst in per-capita domestic- violence rankings.

More: Charleston, SC Latest Editorial News: End domestic-violence 'free pass'

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