The Supreme Court of South Carolina
Re: Selection of New Grand Jury Members
Pursuant to the provisions of Article V, Section 4 of the South Carolina Constitution,
I find that, in light of the ongoing increase in COVID-19 cases throughout South Carolina, and the expectation by the medical community and experts that the number of positive cases will continue to increase in the near future, it is appropriate to temporarily suspend the selection of new grand jury members.
This decision has been made after discussions with Clerks of Court throughout the state, who reported the need to summon large numbers of potential grand jurors in the near future in order to select a new grand jury for the 2021 calendar year, and that many locations lack adequate facilities to allow for social distancing during this process.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that grand juries shall not be convened for the purpose of selecting new grand jury members. Previously established grand juries may convene during the month of December 2020 for the purpose of considering the presentment of indictments. At all times, the participants in this process shall adhere to proper COVID-19 protocol, to include social distancing and the use of personal protective equipment. This Order affects the county grand juries throughout the state as well as the State Grand Jury.
This Order supersedes all prior local orders issued by the Chief Judges for Administrative Purposes which authorized or scheduled the convening of a county grand jury.
This Order shall remain in effect until amended or rescinded by Order of the Chief Justice.
s/Donald W. Beatty
Donald W. Beatty
Chief Justice of South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
December 9, 2020