"Our Laws Are Poorest to Say the Least": South Carolina Ranked - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

"Our Laws Are Poorest to Say the Least": South Carolina Ranked 1st for Domestic Violence Deaths

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Columbia, SC -

The murder suicide that ended a 16 year old's life at his own grandfather's hands was a tragic case, but far from an isolated one:  South Carolina is ranked first in the nation for domestic violence related deaths.

"Our laws are poorest to say the best, they don't protect vulnerable," said Representative Bakari Sellers.

In the wake of a murder-suicide Saturday night in Graniteville, South Carolina, he big questions are could Saturday's tragedy, and others like it, have been prevented?  Did Ronald Wilson have to be let out of jail following a domestic violence charge-one involving a gun-only to take his grandson's life less than two days later?

State Representative Bakari Sellers said he and his colleagues at the statehouse, need to step up.

"There could have been more done to keep those people safe," Sellers said. " There comes a point in time where we have to do our job in Columbia and we haven't been doing that."

That's why Sellers says he will introduce a bill aimed at several problems in the Ronald Wilson case.

"Try to give law enforcement the ability they need and try to give Solicitor Thurmond the ability he needs," Sellers said, "and we haven't been doing that and that's nobody's fault except the people who get sent to Columbia."

Sellers is one of those people and said he wants to fix key problems.

First, Wilson bonded out on $2,505 dollars the day after the first domestic incident.

"Our magistrates' hands are tied," Sellers said.  "Eliminate that cap so that magistrates in their own wisdom, knowing better than anybody in Columbia, can do what they need to do."

And when Wilson did bond out he had access to his guns--Sellers has a proposal for that too:

"They have to submit a list of those guns and turn them in, we already have laws on the books felons can't have weapons; we need to treat this with the same veracity."

No matter what becomes of his bill, Sellers says, South Carolina leaders have to do something to improve the system.

"We can do better, we need to do better," he said, "if not, we'll have more people lose their lives to people out of control."

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