Posted on November 21, 2012 at 4:10 PM
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina's highest court says the state's prosecutors shouldn't be in charge of trial dockets.
The state Supreme Court said in a ruling Wednesday that it agreed with public defenders, who had argued that state law giving local solicitors authority over calling criminal cases is unconstitutional.
The defense attorneys had said the law violates the separation of powers by giving judicial responsibility to a prosecutor, or member of the executive branch.
The court's decision came in the case of K.C. Langford III, who is currently serving 20 years for armed robbery, first-degree burglary and kidnapping. Langford was in jail for more than a year before his case was called for trial.
Ultimately, though, the court upheld Langford's convictions, saying he wasn't prejudiced by the timing of his case.