Governor McMaster asks SCDC to review early-release orders following convicted killer secret freeing

The governor wants SCDC to review early-release orders after convicted killer discreetly freed from prison.
Gov. Henry McMaster requests review of early-release orders.
Gov. Henry McMaster requests review of early-release orders.(Jeff Diamond)
Published: Apr. 26, 2023 at 9:24 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 26, 2023 at 9:31 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has requested a review of early-release orders following the freeing of convicted killer Jeroid J. Price.

In a letter to the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) Director, Bryan P. Stirling, McMaster sites how Price was sentenced to 35-years in prison and the circuit court order reducing his sentence and directing his release puts the public at risk.

Price was arrested and convicted after gunning down West Ashley Native and former University of South and North Carolina football player Carl “Dash” Smalls Jr. in a nightclub. Price was released in March by a judge who ordered the order sealed.

McMaster also said the circuit court order violates the trust of South Carolina residents and implicates the public’s confidence in the judicial system and the Rule of Law.

In the letter, the governor is asking for help from the SCDC to determine if the order was an isolated incident or if there are any other orders like Price’s.

McMaster argued the early release of Price violates the Victims’ Bill of Rights because there was no formal motion from the solicitor and the requirement of victims to be notified of, and allowed to appear or be heard at, any post-conviction or release-related proceedings said McMaster. The governor added Price’s early release violates a clear statutory mandate regarding the punishment for murder,

“[A] person who is convicted of or pleads guilty to murder must be punished by death, or by a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for thirty years to life.” according to S.C. Code Ann. § 16-3-20(A).

McMaster is asking SCDC to rectify the situation he declared to be unjust, he requests a review of all court circuit orders since January 1, 2022, and if it is determined there are, the Department will come forward to him, the Attorney General, and the Chief of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

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