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Statutes > South-carolina > Title-14 > Chapter-7

Title 14 - Courts

CHAPTER 7.

JURIES AND JURORS IN CIRCUIT COURTS

ARTICLE 1.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

SECTION 14-7-10. Rules of construction.

The rule of common law that statutes in derogation of that law are to be strictly construed has no application to any of the provisions of this chapter other than those of Article 13 hereof and Sections 14-7-840, 14-7-860, 14-7-1100 and 14-7-1110.

SECTION 14-7-20. Words "male" and "men" to include "female" and "women".

Wherever the word "male" or "men" is used in the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, relating to jurors and jury service such words shall include "female" and "women".

SECTION 14-7-30. "Clerk" defined.

The word "clerk," as used in this chapter signifies the clerk of the court where the action is pending, unless otherwise specified.

SECTION 14-7-40. Summoning and empanelling jurors by coroners, clerks or magistrates is not affected.

Nothing contained in this chapter shall affect the power and duty of coroners, clerks or magistrates to summon and empanel jurors when authorized by other provisions of law.

ARTICLE 3.

DRAWING AND SUMMONING JURORS

SECTION 14-7-110. Jury commissioners.

The county auditor, the county treasurer, and the clerk of the court of common pleas of each county in this State shall perform the duties set forth and are known as jury commissioners.

SECTION 14-7-120. Vacancy or disqualification in office of jury commissioner.

If there is a vacancy in the office of the clerk of court of common pleas, county auditor, or county treasurer at the time fixed for preparing the jury list or for drawing a jury or if any of these officers are disqualified or unable to serve for any reason, the county judge of probate shall act in his place and stead and if there is a vacancy in two of these offices or for any other reason two of these officers are unable to serve, the county judge of probate and the sheriff of the county shall act in their places and stead. If from among the officers above named there are not three persons in office qualified and able to serve, the resident circuit judge or the presiding judge shall appoint a commissioner or commissioners to serve in the place of the commissioner or commissioners as may be disqualified during the time of his or their disqualification. Each of the substitute commissioners shall receive the same per diem and mileage as is paid jurors.

SECTION 14-7-130. Preparation of jury list from electronic file of persons holding valid South Carolina driver's license or identification card.

In September of each year, the Department of Motor Vehicles shall furnish the State Election Commission an electronic file of the name, address, date of birth, social security number, sex, and race of persons who are over the age of eighteen years and citizens of the United States residing in each county who hold a valid South Carolina driver's license or an identification card issued pursuant to Section 56-1-3350. The electronic file also must include persons who have obtained a valid South Carolina driver's license or identification card during the previous year and exclude persons whose driver's license or identification card has not been renewed or has been invalidated by judicial or administrative action. In October of each year, the State Election Commission shall furnish a jury list to county jury commissioners consisting of a file or list derived by merging the list of registered voters in the county with county residents appearing on the file furnished by the department, but only those licensed drivers and identification cardholders who are eligible to register to vote may be included in the list. Before furnishing the list, the commission must make every effort to eliminate duplicate names and names of persons disqualified from registering to vote or voting pursuant to the laws and Constitution of this State. As furnished to the jury commissioners by the State Election Commission, the list or file constitutes the roll of eligible jurors in the county. Expenses of the Department of Motor Vehicles and the State Election Commission in implementing this section must be borne by these agencies.

SECTION 14-7-140. Use of computer for drawing and summoning jurors.

Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter, the jury commissioners of a county, when drawing and summoning jurors for the court of common pleas, general sessions, or the grand jury, may utilize a computer for this purpose at the discretion of the governing body of the county. Computer software employed for the purpose of drawing and summoning jurors must be designed so as to ensure a random selection of jurors from the population available for jury service. The physical presence of all the jury commissioners is not required at the computerized drawing and summoning of jurors if the governing body of the county establishes a secure procedure allowing for their participation by other means. The computerized drawing and summoning of jurors must take place in the office of the clerk of court as a public event to ensure the absolute integrity of the random selection process. The Supreme Court shall direct by order the appropriate procedures required to implement the provisions of this section.

SECTION 14-7-150. Preparation of jury box.

The jury box of a county shall contain the same number of capsules or containers as there are names on the jury list prepared by the jury commissioners from the latest official list furnished to the county by the State Election Commission each year and provided to the clerk of court of each county not later than December first of the calendar year. The capsules or containers must be small, opaque, and as similar in size, shape, and color as possible at the time of original purchase or the repurchase of additional capsules. By a slip of paper placed therein, each capsule or container must be numbered, beginning with number "one" and continuing consecutively through the number of qualified electors on the jury list prepared by the jury commissioners as hereinbefore provided. All these papers must be of similar kind, color, and weight so as to resemble each other as much as possible without distinguishing marks. The capsules or containers so prepared must be placed in the jury box constructed as required by law.

SECTION 14-7-160. Drawing and notification of jurors.

At the time provided by law for the drawing of jurors, the jury commissioners shall randomly withdraw from the jury box one capsule or container for each juror required by law to be drawn. The jury commissioners shall then open each capsule or container drawn and ascertain the number contained therein. The names of the jurors drawn must be taken from the jury list by the numbers thereon corresponding to the numbers drawn from the capsules or containers. The jury commissioners may not excuse or disqualify any juror selected. Immediately after the jurors are drawn, the clerk of court shall issue his writ and process as now required by law for the jurors whose numbers were drawn. Any juror drawn for a term of court must be notified of the time and place he is to appear for jury duty at least fifteen days before he is to appear and serve as a juror. If the trial judge determines that additional jurors are immediately necessary for the conduct of the court he may waive the fifteen-day notice.

SECTION 14-7-170. Procedure in event of failure of jury commissioners to prepare list of jurors for ensuing year.

When the jury commissioners in a county in this State shall omit to prepare the list of jurors for the then ensuing year or to prepare the ballots of the names and place them in the boxes at the time and in the manner required in this article, the Chief Justice, any associate justice of the Supreme Court, or any circuit judge shall grant an order on the application of any solicitor or attorney at law showing this omission by affidavit, which may be on information and belief, requiring the jury commissioners in question, within ten days after the order, to prepare these lists and ballots of names and to prepare the jury boxes (nunc pro tunc) and all juries drawn from these boxes are as valid and lawful as if the omission had not occurred.

SECTION 14-7-180. Custody of jury box and keys thereto.

The clerk of the court shall keep the jury box in his custody. The jury box must be kept securely locked with three separate and strong locks, each lock being different and distinct from the other two and requiring one key peculiar to itself in order to be unlocked. The key to one of these three locks must be kept by the county auditor himself, the key to another of these three locks must be kept by the county treasurer himself, and the key to the third of these three locks must be kept by the clerk of the court of common pleas himself, so that no two of them shall keep a similar key or similar keys to the same lock and so that all three of them must be present together at the same time and place in order to lock or unlock and open the jury box.

SECTION 14-7-190. Drawing of petit jurors to serve as jury pool during weeks in which more than one term of court requiring juries are scheduled.

Not less than fifteen days nor more than thirty-five days before the first day of any week in which more than one term of court requiring juries is scheduled in a county, the jury commissioners shall draw a number of petit jurors to serve as a jury pool, from which the courts shall draw panels of jurors as needed according to the following schedule:

(1) When two concurrent terms of court are scheduled, the commissioners shall draw ninety percent of the number of jurors which they would otherwise draw;

(2) When three concurrent terms of court are scheduled, the commissioners shall draw eighty percent of the number of jurors which they would otherwise draw;

(3) When four concurrent terms of court are scheduled, the commissioners shall draw seventy percent of the number of jurors which they would otherwise draw; or

(4) When five or more concurrent terms of court are scheduled, the commissioners shall draw fifty percent of the number of jurors which they would otherwise draw.

The jury commissioners shall not exclude or disqualify any juror drawn.

SECTION 14-7-200. Drawing of petit jurors to serve during week of regular or special term of circuit court.

Not less than fifteen nor more than thirty-five days before the first day of each week of any regular or special term of the circuit court the jury commissioners shall proceed to draw at least seventy-five petit jurors to serve for that week only. The chief administrative judge or the presiding judge of that circuit may increase or decrease the number of jurors drawn if he considers it necessary; however, at least seventy-five jurors must be drawn. The jury commissioners shall randomly select the jurors and shall not excuse or disqualify any juror who has been selected. Immediately after the petit jurors are drawn, the clerk of the court of common pleas shall issue his writ of venire facias for the petit jurors, requiring their attendance on the first day of the week for which they have been drawn and this writ of venire facias must be immediately delivered to the sheriff of the county.

SECTION 14-7-210. When jury shall not be discharged.

Whenever a jury is charged with a case, it must not be discharged by reason of anything in Section 14-7-200 contained until a verdict is found or a mistrial ordered in such case.

SECTION 14-7-220. Drawings to be open and public; notice.

The drawings must be made openly and publicly in the office of the clerk of court of common pleas and the jury commissioners shall give ten days' notice of the place, day, and hour of each of the drawings by posting in a conspicuous place on the courthouse door or by advertisement in a county newspaper.

SECTION 14-7-230. Methods for drawing names of jurors.

The clerk of court must use one of the following methods for drawing the names of jurors for the purpose of impaneling a jury:

(1) drawing of the names of jurors by a responsible and impartial person designated by the clerk of court, with the approval of the presiding judge; or

(2) drawing of the names of jurors by computer, subject to the provisions of Section 14-7-140.

SECTION 14-7-235. Repealed by implication 1986 Act No. 340, Section 1, eff March 10, 1986.

SECTION 14-7-240. Selection of jurors by drawing.

All jurors must be selected by drawing ballots from the jury box and, subject to the exceptions herein contained, the persons whose names are on the ballots so drawn must be returned to serve as jurors.

SECTION 14-7-250. Disposition of names of those who are drawn and serve on a jury pool.

The names of those who are drawn and attend a session of court as a member of a jury pool must be placed in an envelope and must not be put back into the jury box until the first revision of the jury list provided for after they have been so drawn, to the end that no person is required to serve as a juror more than once in three calendar years. Nothing contained in this article may be construed to be in conflict with the provisions of the law as to selecting by lot from the grand jury six members to serve for the ensuing year.

Nothing contained in this article prohibits a person whose name has been properly drawn and who desires to serve as a juror from serving more frequently than once every three calendar years, except that no person shall serve as a juror more than once every calendar year as provided in Section 14-7-850.

SECTION 14-7-260. Number of jurors to be drawn and summoned.

Except as otherwise expressly provided, the jury commissioners shall draw and summon at least seventy-five persons to serve as petit jurors to attend at one and the same time at any court. The chief administrative judge or the presiding judge of that circuit may increase or decrease the number of jurors drawn and summoned if he considers it necessary; however, at least seventy-five jurors must be drawn and summoned.

SECTION 14-7-270. Preparation of special jury list in certain circumstances.

Whenever the jury list of any county is destroyed by fire or other casualty or it is held by any court of competent jurisdiction that the jury list has been unlawfully prepared or is irregular or illegal, so as to render void the drawing of jurors therefrom, the jury commissioners shall prepare a special jury list for the county immediately in the manner herein prescribed from which special list grand and petit jurors are drawn for the courts of general sessions and common pleas for the county until the annual jury list has been prepared for the county as provided.

SECTION 14-7-280. Duty of circuit judge in case of irregularities.

When at any time it is determined by the circuit judge of any circuit, upon complaint made to him, that an irregularity has occurred in the drawing of the juries for any court within his circuit or that any act has been done whereby the validity of any jury drawn or to be drawn may be questioned, the circuit judge may issue his order to the jury commissioners for each county for which the court is to be held, at least five days before the sitting thereof, to proceed to draw jurors for the term or take measures as may be necessary to correct the error.

SECTION 14-7-290. Preparation of special list and drawing of special jury in certain circumstances.

Whenever at any term of the circuit court the array of grand and petit jurors summoned to attend is held to have been irregularly or illegally drawn or summoned, the presiding judge shall immediately order, in either case, that the jury commissioners of the county shall immediately prepare a special list and, in open court, draw a special venire of grand or petit jurors or draw a special jury from the last list prepared according to law. Any special grand or petit jury so drawn and summoned shall serve instead of those discharged at this term.

SECTION 14-7-300. Supplying deficiency in number of jurors drawn.

Whenever it is necessary to supply any deficiency in the number of grand or petit jurors duly drawn, whether caused by challenge or otherwise, the jury commissioners, under the direction of the court, shall draw from the jury box the number of jurors as the court considers necessary to fill the deficiency.

SECTION 14-7-310. Venires for additional jurors.

Nothing contained in this article prevents the clerk of the court of common pleas from issuing venires for additional jurors in term time upon the order of the court whenever it is necessary for the convenient dispatch of its business. In any such case venires must be served and returned and jurors required to attend on those days as the court shall direct.

SECTION 14-7-320. Calling of alternate jurors.

Whenever in the opinion of a presiding judge of a court of common pleas or general sessions of any county of this State about to enter upon the trial of a civil or criminal case the trial is likely to be protracted, the court may cause an entry to that effect to be made in the minutes of the court and, immediately after the jury is impaneled and sworn, the court shall direct the calling of one or two additional jurors in its discretion, to be known as alternate jurors. These jurors must be drawn from the same source, in the same manner, have the same qualifications, and be subject to the same examination and challenge as the jurors already sworn.

SECTION 14-7-330. Notice of motion to quash panel because of disqualification of jury commissioners.

No motion to quash any panel of petit jurors may be made because of any relationship, connection, or other disqualification on the part of the jury commissioners, or any of them, who made up the jury box, unless notice of the motion in writing is given at least ten days before the convening of any court to the adverse party, or his attorney setting forth the ground for the making of the motion. Failure to give notice is considered a waiver of all rights.

SECTION 14-7-340. Procedure to obtain jurors when jury commissioners are disqualified.

If notice is given and the party upon whom it is served concedes or it is determined by the court that the relationship, connection, or disqualification exists, then the moving party shall apply to the resident circuit judge or the presiding judge of the circuit, either at chambers or in term time, setting out by way of affidavits the facts. Thereupon the judge shall order the jury commissioners who are not related, connected, or disqualified to make up a special jury box composed of the names of two hundred and forty persons, who are qualified to serve as jurors, from which special box there must be drawn the names of thirty-six jurors who must be summoned and required to attend as extra jurors. From the extra panel a jury may be obtained to try the case in which the regular panel is disqualified. In case all of the jury commissioners are disqualified, then the judge shall designate three others who shall perform this duty.

SECTION 14-7-350. Term of extra or special panel.

The extra or special panel may be discharged as soon as the need for it ceases.

SECTION 14-7-360. Requirement that persons serve as jurors unless disqualified or excused.

When the name of a person is drawn from the jury box for jury service by the jury commissioners the person shall serve as a juror unless disqualified or excused by the court as may be provided by law.

SECTION 14-7-370. Penalty for neglect of duty in drawing and summoning jurors.

When, by neglect of any of the duties required by this article to be performed by any of the officers or persons mentioned, the jurors to be returned from any place are not duly drawn and summoned to attend the court, every person guilty of neglect shall pay a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars, to be imposed by the court, to the use of the county in which the offense was committed.

SECTION 14-7-380. Punishment of jury commissioners guilty of fraud.

If any member of the board of jury commissioners is guilty of fraud, either (a) by practicing on the jury box previously to a draft, (b) in drawing a juror, (c) in returning into the jury box the name of any juror which has been lawfully drawn out and drawing or substituting another in his stead, or (d) in any other way in the drawing of jurors, he must be punished by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars or be imprisoned not exceeding two years in a state correctional institution.

SECTION 14-7-390. Service of summons for jury duty by first class mail or by alternate method.

The clerk of court of a county may serve a summons for jury duty by first class mail. In the alternative, the clerk of court of any county may contract with the State Election Commission to serve a summons for jury duty by first class mail. Should the clerk of court of any county not choose to use either of the procedures for summoning jurors provided by this section, the clerk may summon jurors as provided by Section 14-7-410 or the sheriff shall serve jurors as provided by Section 14-7-400.

SECTION 14-7-400. Repealed by 1992 Act No. 483, Section 5, eff July 1, 1992.

SECTION 14-7-410. Service of summons for jury duty by certified mail; alternate procedure.

The clerk of court of any county may serve a summons for jury duty by certified mail with return receipt requested. Should the clerk of court of any county not choose to use the procedure for summoning jurors provided by this section, the sheriff must continue to serve jurors as provided by law.

SECTION 14-7-420. Attendance and service in court of common pleas by jurors summoned to attend and serve in court of general sessions.

In cases where the law provides for the opening and holding of the court of common pleas during the week in which a term of the court of general sessions is or may be held in any county, the jurors summoned to attend and serve in the court of general sessions shall also attend and serve as jurors in any court of common pleas.

SECTION 14-7-430. Exclusiveness of method and procedure described by this article.

The method and procedure described by this article is the exclusive method for the preparation of the jury lists, jury box, and the drawing of jurors therefrom and for the service as jurors in the circuit courts of this State.

SECTION 14-7-440. Repealed by implication by 1986 Act No. 340, Section 1, eff March 10, 1986.

SECTION 14-7-450. Repealed by implication by 1986 Act No. 340, Section 1, eff March 10, 1986.

SECTION 14-7-455. Repealed by implication by 1986 Act No. 340, Section 1, eff March 10, 1986.

SECTION 14-7-460. Repealed by implication by 1986 Act No. 340, Section 1, eff March 10, 1986.

SECTION 14-7-465. Repealed by implication by 1986 Act No. 340, Section 1, eff March 10, 1986.

SECTION 14-7-470. Repealed by implication by 1986 Act No. 340, Section 1, eff March 10, 1986.

ARTICLE 5.

ALTERNATE METHOD OF DRAWING AND SUMMONING JURORS [REPEALED]

SECTION 14-7-610. Repealed by 1986 Act No. 340, Section 5, eff March 10, 1986.

SECTION 14-7-620. Repealed by 1986 Act No. 340, Section 5, eff March 10, 1986.

SECTION 14-7-630. Repealed by 1986 Act No. 340, Section 5, eff March 10, 1986.

SECTION 14-7-640. Repealed by 1986 Act No. 340, Section 5, eff March 10, 1986.

SECTION 14-7-650. Repealed by 1986 Act No. 340, Section 5, eff March 10, 1986.

SECTION 14-7-660. Repealed by 1986 Act No. 340, Section 5, eff March 10, 1986.

ARTICLE 7.

DISQUALIFICATION, EXEMPTIONS AND EXCUSE FROM SERVICE AS JURORS

SECTION 14-7-810. Enumeration of disqualifications in any court.

In addition to any other provision of law, no person is qualified to serve as a juror in any court in this State if:

(1) He has been convicted in a state or federal court of record of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year and his civil rights have not been restored by pardon or amnesty.

(2) He is unable to read, write, speak, or understand the English language.

(3) He is incapable by reason of mental or physical infirmities to render efficient jury service. Legal blindness does not disqualify an otherwise qualified juror.

(4) He has less than a sixth grade education or its equivalent.

Any person called to jury service who knows or has good reason to suspect that he is disqualified under this section, upon questioning by the trial judge, hearing officer, or clerk of court, must state the disqualifying facts or the reasons for his suspicions and any failure to do so is punishable as contempt of court. The trial judge must make the final determination of the qualifications of a juror as set out in this section and his decision must not be disturbed on appeal.

SECTION 14-7-820. Disqualification of county officers and court employees.

No clerk or deputy clerk of the court, constable, sheriff, probate judge, county commissioner, magistrate or other county officer, or any person employed within the walls of any courthouse is eligible as a juryman in any civil or criminal case; provided, that no person may be disqualified under this section except as determined by the court.

SECTION 14-7-830. Exclusion from jury service of members of grand jury which found indictment.

No member of the grand jury which has found an indictment may be put upon the jury for the trial thereof.

SECTION 14-7-840. Exemption from jury service; requirement of direction by court; maintenance of list of persons excused.

No person is exempt from service as a juror in any court of this State except men and women sixty-five years of age or over. Notaries public are not considered state officers and are not exempt under this section. A person exempt under this section may be excused upon telephone confirmation of date of birth and age to the clerk of court or the chief magistrate. The jury commissioners shall not excuse or disqualify a juror under this section. The clerk of court shall maintain a list of persons excused by the court and the reasons the juror was determined to be excused.

SECTION 14-7-845. Postponement of jury service for students and school employees.

(A) If a student selected for jury service during the school term requests, his service must be postponed to a date that does not conflict with the school term. For purposes of this subsection, a student is a person enrolled in high school or an institution of higher learning, including technical college.

(B) If a school employee selected for jury service during the school term requests, his service must be postponed to a date that does not conflict with the school term. For purposes of this subsection, a school employee is a person employed as a teacher, certified personnel at the building level, or bus driver by a school, a school system, or a school district offering educational programs to grades K-12 and to institutions of higher learning, including technical colleges.

(C) A person selected for jury service who requests a postponement pursuant to subsection (A) or (B) must provide evidence of school enrollment or employment.

SECTION 14-7-850. Frequency of jury service.

No person is liable to be drawn and serve as a juror in any court more often than once every three calendar years and no person shall serve as a juror more than once every calendar year, but he is not exempt from serving on a jury in any other court in consequence of his having served before a magistrate.

SECTION 14-7-860. Authority of judge to excuse jurors for good cause; excuse of women with children under age 7 and persons essential to operation of business; punishment for violations.

(A) The presiding judge for cause shown may excuse any person from jury duty at any term of court if the judge considers it advisable. But no juror who has been drawn to serve at any term of the court may be excused except for good and sufficient cause, which, together with his application, must be filed in the office of the clerk of court and remain on record.

(B) A person who:

(1) has legal custody and the duty of care for a child less than seven years of age;

(2) is the primary caretaker of a person aged sixty-five or older; or

(3) is the primary caretaker of a severely disabled person who is unable to care for himself or cannot be left unattended; and desires to be excused from jury duty must submit an affidavit to the clerk of court stating that he is unable to provide adequate care for the child, person aged sixty-five or older, or disabled person while performing jury duty, and must be excused by the presiding judge from jury service. The provisions of Section 14-7-870 do not apply to any juror described in this subsection who: (a) has a child less than seven years of age, (b) is the primary caretaker of a person aged sixty-five or older, or (c) is the primary caretaker of a severely disabled person who is unable to care for himself or cannot be left unattended.

(C) Upon submitting an affidavit to the clerk of court requesting to be excused from jury duty, a person either may be excused or transferred to another term of court by the presiding judge if the person performs services for a business, commercial, or agricultural enterprise, and the person's services are so essential to the operations of the business, commercial, or agricultural enterprise that the enterprise must close or cease to function if the person is required to perform jury duty.

(D) A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be punished by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.

SECTION 14-7-870. Procedures applicable to excused jurors.

Whenever a juror is so excused, unless the cause of the excuse is permanent physical disability of the juror or the juror is a member of one of the classes of persons set forth in Section 14-7-840, the name of the juror must be placed by the jury commissioners on the succeeding panel of the same term, or the next term or a subsequent term of court. The name of the juror so placed on any panel must be in addition to the seventy-five names required to be placed on the panel under the provisions of Section 14-7-200, and the juror shall attend the court on the first day of the week for which he has been so designated without the issuance or service of any further process.

He shall serve as a substitute on the panel in the stead and place of any one of the jurors drawn on the panel whose attendance cannot then be procured or who may be excused from attendance on the panel for cause as provided in this article.

SECTION 14-7-880. Repealed by implication by 1986 Act No. 340, Section 2, eff March 10, 1986.

SECTION 14-7-890. Repealed by implication by 1986 Act No. 340, Section 2, eff March 10, 1986.

SECTION 14-7-900. Repealed by implication by 1986 Act No. 340, Section 2, eff March 10, 1986.

ARTICLE 9.

OBJECTIONS AND CHALLENGES TO JURORS; IMPANELLING OF JURIES

SECTION 14-7-1010. Ascertainment of qualifications of jurors by presiding judge; maintenance of list of excused or disqualified jurors; transfer of juror to subsequent term by clerk of court.

The presiding judge shall at each term of court ascertain the qualifications of the jurors.

The presiding judge shall determine whether any juror is disqualified or exempted by law and only he shall disqualify or excuse any juror as may be provided by law. The clerk of court shall maintain a list of all jurors excused or disqualified and the reasons provided therefor by the presiding judge, which list must be signed by the presiding judge. In no case shall the jury commissioners excuse or disqualify any juror for any reason whatsoever; provided that the clerk of court may, without court approval, transfer any juror to a subsequent term upon good and sufficient cause.

SECTION 14-7-1020. Jurors may be examined by court; if juror is not indifferent, he shall be set aside.

The court shall, on motion of either party in the suit, examine on oath any person who is called as a juror to know whether he is related to either party, has any interest in the cause, has expressed or formed any opinion, or is sensible of any bias or prejudice therein, and the party objecting to the juror may introduce any other competent evidence in support of the objection. If it appears to the court that the juror is not indifferent in the cause, he must be placed aside as to the trial of that cause and another must be called.

SECTION 14-7-1030. Time for making objections to jurors.

All objections to jurors called to try prosecutions, actions, issues, or questions arising out of actions or special proceedings in the various courts of this State, if not made before the juror is impaneled for or charged with the trial of the prosecution, action, issue, or question arising out of an action or special proceeding, is waived, and if made thereafter is of no effect.

SECTION 14-7-1040. Juror's liability to pay taxes not cause of challenge.

In indictments and penal actions for the recovery of sum of money or other thing forfeited, it is not a cause of challenge to a juror that he is liable to pay taxes in any county, city, or town which may be benefited by recovery.

SECTION 14-7-1050. Impaneling jury; in court of common pleas.

In the trial of all actions at law in the courts of common pleas and issues ordered to be framed by the judge in equity cases in the courts, the clerk in the manner provided by Section 14-7-1060 shall furnish the parties or their attorneys with a list of twenty jurors from the whole number of jurors who are in attendance, the names on the list to be numbered from one to twenty, and be stricken off by numbers in the same manner as the regular panels of jurors in those courts have been formed. From this list the parties or their attorneys shall alternatively strike, until there are but twelve left, which shall constitute the jury to try the case or issue. In all cases the plaintiff shall have the first strike and in all civil cases any party shall have the right to demand a panel of twenty competent and impartial jurors from which to strike a jury.

SECTION 14-7-1060. Procedures to be employed by clerk to draw jury panel.

If a computer is not used for the drawing of jurors pursuant to the provisions of Section 14-7-140, the clerk shall write or cause the names of the jurors in attendance to be written, each on a separate paper or ballot which must be white and plain, which must resemble each other as much as possible, and which must be so folded that the name written thereon is not visible on the outside. The clerk shall place each of the ballots or separate papers in a separate, small opaque capsule or container, which must be as uniform in size, shape, and color as possible at the time of original purchase or repurchase of the capsules or containers. Whenever a jury panel of twenty is to be drawn, these capsules or containers must be placed in a small rotating drum, cylindrical in shape, having a handle at the end thereof and resting on such supports that it can be turned by means of the handle, the drum, capsules, and other equipment to be furnished by the jury commissioners and approved by the resident judge. When the containers or capsules have been placed in the drum, it must be completely closed and securely fastened and rotated by means of the handle for a sufficient length of time necessary for a complete mixing of the containers or capsules and the required number of jurors must then be drawn, one by one, by a responsible and impartial person designated by the clerk of court, with the approval of the presiding judge. The names of the jurors so drawn must be returned to the capsules and replaced in the drum when the jurors are no longer actually engaged in service on a trial jury.

SECTION 14-7-1070. Objections for cause to be made before striking; requirement of additional jury list where disqualifications are discovered after striking.

When the list is prepared by the clerk and presented to the parties or their attorneys, objection for cause must be made before striking, and if the objection is sustained, the clerk shall fill up the list before it is stricken. If, after the jury has been struck as provided, it is discovered that any one or more of the jurors whose names remain upon the jury list are disqualified for any cause, the clerk shall furnish the parties or their attorneys with an additional list of three times as many jurors as may be found to be disqualified, to be drawn as the first list was drawn, from which the parties or their attorneys shall alternately strike, until there is left the number necessary to impanel the panel.

SECTION 14-7-1080. Effect of jury's delay in rendering verdict.

Should the jury charged with any case be delayed in rendering its verdict so that it could not be present to be drawn from in making the list to form a second jury, then the clerk shall present to the parties or their attorneys a list containing the names of twenty jurors to be drawn by the clerk from the remaining jurors in the manner provided in Section 14-7-1050, from which list the parties or their attorneys shall alternately strike, as provided in Section 14-7-1050 until twelve are left who shall constitute the jury.

SECTION 14-7-1090. Impaneling jury in default cases or in cases where right to strike jury has been waived.

In all cases of default when it may be necessary to have the verdict of a jury or in the trial of cases when the parties or their attorneys shall waive the right to strike a jury, the clerk shall, under the direction of the judge, draw and impanel a jury who shall pass upon those matters as may be submitted to it in default cases or the trial of those cases when the parties have waived the right to strike the jury.

SECTION 14-7-1100. Impaneling jury in criminal case.

In impaneling juries in criminal cases, the jurors must be called, sworn, and impaneled anew for the trial of each case, according to the established practice.

SECTION 14-7-1110. Peremptory challenges in criminal cases.

Any person who is arraigned for the crime of murder, manslaughter, burglary, arson, criminal sexual conduct, armed robbery, grand larceny, or breach of trust when it is punishable as for grand larceny, perjury, or forgery is entitled to peremptory challenges not exceeding ten, and the State in these cases is entitled to peremptory challenges not exceeding five. Any person who is indicted for any crime or offense other than those enumerated above has the right to peremptory challenges not exceeding five, and the State in these cases is entitled to peremptory challenges not exceeding five. No right to stand aside jurors is allowed to the State in any case whatsoever. In no case where there is more than one defendant jointly tried are more than twenty peremptory challenges allowed in all to the defendants, and in misdemeanors when there is more than one defendant jointly tried no more than ten peremptory challenges are allowed in all to the defendants. In felonies when there is more than one defendant jointly tried the State has ten challenges.

SECTION 14-7-1120. Challenges and strikes of alternate jurors.

In criminal cases the prosecution is entitled to one and the defendant to two peremptory challenges for each alternate juror called under the provisions of Section 14-7-320 and in civil cases, each party shall have one strike for each alternate juror.

SECTION 14-7-1130. Juror may take affirmation instead of oath.

Any juror in any court of this State may make solemn and conscientious affirmation and declaration, according to the form of his religious belief or profession, as to any matter or thing whereof an oath is required and this affirmation and declaration must be held as valid and effectual as if the person had taken an oath on the Holy Bible.

SECTION 14-7-1140. Effect on verdict of irregularity in venire, drawing, and the like of jurors.

No irregularity in any writ of venire facias or in the drawing, summoning, returning, or impaneling of jurors is sufficient to set aside the verdict, unless the party making the objection was injured by the irregularity or unless the objection is made before the returning of the verdict.

ARTICLE 11.

SERVICE AS JURORS AND COMPENSATION THEREFOR

SECTION 14-7-1310. Foreman.

The foreman of each jury, after the jury has been empanelled, may be appointed by the court or the jury may retire and choose its foreman.

SECTION 14-7-1320. Jury may view place, property or thing; expenses.

The jury in any case may, at the request of either party, be taken to view the place or premises in question or any property, matter or thing relating to the controversy between the parties when it appears to the court that such view is necessary to a just decision, if the party making the motion advances a sum sufficient to pay the actual expenses of the jury and the officers who attend them in taking the view, which shall be afterwards taxed like other legal costs if the party who advanced them prevails in the suit.

SECTION 14-7-1330. Procedure when jury fails to agree.

When a jury, after due and thorough deliberation upon any cause, returns into court without having agreed upon a verdict, the court may state anew the evidence or any part of it and explain to it anew the law applicable to the case and may send it out for further deliberation. But if it returns a second time without having agreed upon a verdict, it shall not be sent out again without its own consent unless it shall ask from the court some further explanation of the law.

SECTION 14-7-1340. Duties and service of alternate jurors.

Such alternate jurors shall sit near the jury panel charged with the case, shall have the same opportunities for seeing and hearing the proceedings in the case, and shall take the same oath as the jurors already sworn and shall attend at all times the trial of the cause in company with the other jurors. They shall obey the orders of, and be bound by, the admonition of the court upon each adjournment of the court and, if the regular jurors are ordered to be kept in custody by the court during the trial of the cause, such alternate jurors shall also be kept in confinement with the other jurors and, except as hereinafter provided, shall be discharged upon the final submission of the case to the jury. If, before the final submission of the case to the jury, a juror thereon dies or becomes so ill or disabled as to be unable in the judgment of the court to perform his duties thereon, the court shall order him to be discharged and draw the name of one of the alternates, if there be more than one, by ballot to serve in the place of such dead or discharged juror throughout the remainder of the proceedings, being subject to the same rules and regulations as applied to the remainder of jurors, just as though he had been one of the original jurors. If there be but one alternate, he shall be placed upon the jury panel for all further proceedings in such cause.

SECTION 14-7-1350. Petit jurors may be held beyond period for which summoned.

All jurors summoned to serve at any term of the courts of general sessions or common pleas may be held beyond the period for which they were summoned until all cases in both of such courts to be tried by jury are disposed of or until another jury shall have been empanelled to try such cases.

SECTION 14-7-1360. Verdict may be set aside on gratuity given to juror by party.

If either party in a case in which a verdict is returned during the same term of the court, before the trial, gives to any of the jurors who try the cause anything by way of treat or gratuity the court may, on the motion of the adverse party, set aside the verdict and award a new trial of the cause.

SECTION 14-7-1370. Compensation of jurors in circuit courts.

Jurors serving in the circuit courts of this State shall, in addition to mileage at the rate of five cents per mile going to and returning from court, receive a per diem in the several counties of this State, as follows:

(1) In the counties of Anderson, Calhoun, Clarendon, Dillon, Edgefield, Greenville, Greenwood, Lancaster, Laurens, Marion, Marlboro, Richland and York, two dollars; provided, that in Marlboro County petit jurors shall receive, in addition to the per diem, two dollars for each night when detained on jury duty after ten o'clock P.M.;

(2) In Union County, two dollars and fifty cents; provided, that petit jurors shall receive, in addition to the per diem, two dollars and fifty cents for each night when detained on jury duty after ten o'clock P. M.;

(3) In the counties of Bamberg, Barnwell, Cherokee, Chester, Colleton, Fairfield, Jasper, Lexington, Oconee and Orangeburg, three dollars; provided, that if any juror in Chester County is kept on duty after eleven o'clock at night, he shall be paid for an additional day; provided, further, that in Orangeburg County each juror shall receive mileage for going to and returning from court for each day of attendance at court;

(4) In Kershaw and Spartanburg Counties, four dollars;

(5) In Abbeville County, ten dollars;

(6) In Berkeley, Fairfield, Horry, McCormick, Newberry and Sumter Counties, five dollars; provided, however, that:

(a) Jurors in Berkeley County shall be paid mileage at the rate of ten cents per mile going to and returning from court;

(b) If in Newberry County any juror serving upon any case is detained by such jury service after twelve o'clock midnight, it shall be considered that the jury shall have entered into a new day of jury service; and if a juror in either such county is discharged from jury service before one o'clock P. M. on any day he shall be paid only two dollars and fifty cents;

(c) Jurors in Chesterfield County shall be paid mileage at seven cents per mile for each day's attendance on court;

(d) In Horry County petit jurors shall receive an additional five dollars per night when detained on jury duty after eleven o'clock P. M.; and if any juror in Horry County is excused from jury service at his own request he shall not be paid compensation as a juror but shall only be entitled to receive compensation for mileage;

(e) In Georgetown County, jurors shall be paid mileage at the rate of seven cents per mile going to and from court;

(7) The pay for all jurors of Darlington County shall be as follows: The foreman of a grand jury, five dollars per day and ten cents mileage one way; all other jurors, grand and petit, three dollars per day and ten cents mileage one way, and the county auditor of Darlington County shall levy and the treasurer and the tax collector shall collect sufficient funds for the purposes of this paragraph;

(8) In Saluda County, seven dollars per day and mileage for each trip going to and returning from court;

(9) In Aiken County, six dollars; and

(10) In Allendale County, seven dollars;

(11) In Charleston County the circuit court grand and petit jurors shall receive seven dollars per day whether or not they are discharged from jury service before one o'clock P. M. on any day, and mileage at the rate of ten cents per mile for going to and returning from court for each day of attendance at court;

(12) In Beaufort County, twelve dollars and fifty cents, and if any juror serving upon any case is detained by such jury service after twelve o'clock midnight, it shall be considered that the jury shall have entered into a new day of jury service. In addition jurors shall be paid mileage for going to and returning from court for each day of attendance at court at the same rate as authorized by law for an employee of the State. Such mileage shall be paid each day.

(13) In Chesterfield County, eight dollars;

(14) In Hampton and Georgetown Counties, ten dollars; and

(15) In Lee County, seven dollars.

(16) In Pickens and Florence Counties, ten dollars and if any juror serving upon any case is detained by such jury service after twelve o'clock midnight, it shall be considered that the jury shall have entered into a new day of jury service. Jurors shall be paid mileage at the rate of ten cents per mile for going to and returning from court for each day of attendance at court.

(17) In Edgefield County ten dollars and mileage at the rate of ten cents per mile going to and returning from court for each day's attendance at court.

(18) In Dorchester County ten dollars per day and mileage at the rate of ten cents per mile going to and returning from court for each weekly session.

(19) In Williamsburg County, twelve dollars, and if any juror serving upon any case is detained by such jury service after twelve o'clock midnight, it shall be considered that the jury shall have entered into a new day of jury service. In addition jurors shall be paid mileage for going to and returning from court for each day of attendance at court at the rate of ten cents per mile. Such mileage shall be paid each day.

SECTION 14-7-1380. Cost of feeding juries shall be paid by county.

Whenever any circuit judge shall order food to be furnished by the sheriff to any jury charged with the consideration of a case, the expenses connected therewith shall be paid by the governing body of the county in which such case is being tried, upon presentation of the bill of the sheriff certified as correct by the presiding judge.

SECTION 14-7-1390. Penalty for nonattendance.

If a person duly drawn and summoned to attend as a juror in any court neglects to attend, without sufficient excuse, he shall pay a civil penalty not exceeding one hundred dollars which must be imposed by the court to which the juror was summoned and paid into the county treasury.

ARTICLE 13.

GRAND JURIES

SECTION 14-7-1510. Six grand jurors to be selected for second year; periodic exemption from further service.

(A) During the last term of the court of general sessions held in each county for any year, the clerk of court shall randomly draw from the twelve members serving their first year on the grand jury the names of six of the grand jurors who, together with twelve grand jurors selected in the manner prescribed in this article, shall constitute the grand jury for the succeeding year. The drawing of these names by the clerk of court has the same force and effect as if the names of the six grand jurors had been drawn in the presence of the presiding judge.

(B) No person shall serve as a grand juror for more than two consecutive years.

(C) A person completing service as a grand juror under the provisions of this article, including any service as a holdover grand juror, is exempt from any further jury service in any court of this State for a period of five calendar years.

SECTION 14-7-1520. Drawing of juror names; writs of venire facias; issuance and delivery of writs.

Not less than fifteen days before the convening of the first term of the court of general sessions for the calendar year, the jury commissioners shall proceed to draw from the jury box the number of grand jurors which the clerk of court or chief administrative judge for the circuit has determined to be sufficient in order to impanel a grand jury. The grand jurors must be randomly drawn and listed as are jurors for trials, and the jury commissioners shall not disqualify or excuse any juror drawn. Immediately after these grand jurors are drawn, the clerk of court shall issue writs of venire facias for these grand jurors, requiring their attendance on the first day of the first week of criminal court in the county or at such other time as the clerk of court may designate. These writs of venire facias must be delivered immediately to the sheriff of the county or otherwise served as provided by law.

SECTION 14-7-1530. Judge to ascertain qualifications of jurors; lists of excused or disqualified jurors; jurors not served writs.

On the first day of the term of court, the presiding judge shall ascertain the qualifications of those jurors who have appeared pursuant to the writs of venire facias. No juror may be excused or disqualified except in accordance with existing law as determined by the presiding judge. The clerk of court shall maintain a list of all jurors who are excused or disqualified by the presiding judge and state the reasons given by the presiding judge for excusing or disqualifying the jurors. The sheriff of the county also shall report to the presiding judge the names of those persons who were not served with writs of venire facias, and that reasonable effort was made to obtain service. The clerk of court shall maintain a list of the jurors who were not served with the writs of venire facias and the reasons service was not effected.

SECTION 14-7-1540. Drawing of grand jurors and alternates.

After the grand jury venire has been duly qualified by the presiding judge, the clerk of court shall place the names of all qualified grand jurors in a container from which twelve grand jurors must be chosen. The clerk of court shall randomly draw twelve jurors from the container, and those twelve jurors drawn shall serve as grand jurors, together with those grand jurors selected as provided under Section 14-7-1510(A). The clerk of court shall randomly draw three or more additional jurors, with those three or more jurors serving as alternate grand jurors in the event one or more of the original grand jurors are incapacitated, excused, or disqualified during their term. The names of the alternate grand jurors must be kept separate and numbered in the order drawn and in this order, unless excused by the presiding judge, shall serve when necessary. The remainder of the grand jury venire may be discharged.

SECTION 14-7-1550. Authority of grand jury foreman to swear witnesses; procedures to obtain attendance of witnesses.

The foreman of the grand jury or acting foreman in the circuit courts of any county of the State may swear the witnesses whose names shall appear on the bill of indictment in the grand jury room. No witnesses shall be sworn except those who have been bound over or subpoenaed in the manner provided by law. In order to obtain attendance of any witness, the grand jury may proceed as provided by the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure and Sections 19-9-10 through 19-9-130.

SECTION 14-7-1560. Employment of expert accountants.

Grand juries may, whenever in their judgment it becomes necessary, employ one or more expert accountants to aid them to examine and investigate the offices, books, papers, vouchers, and accounts of any public officer of their respective counties and to fix the amount of compensation or per diem to be paid therefor, upon the approval of the presiding or circuit judge given before any expert is employed.

SECTION 14-7-1570. Repealed by 1998 Act No. 373, Section 1, eff May 26, 1998.

SECTION 14-7-1580. Repealed by 1998 Act No. 373, Section 1, eff May 26, 1998.

SECTION 14-7-1590. Repealed by 1998 Act No. 373, Section 1, eff May 26, 1998.

SECTION 14-7-1595. Repealed by 1990 Act No. 461, Section 1 eff May 7, 1990.

ARTICLE 15.

STATE GRAND JURY SYSTEM

SECTION 14-7-1600. Short title; State Grand Jury of South Carolina defined.

This article may be cited as the "State Grand Jury Act", and any state grand jury which may be convened as provided herein to be known as a "State Grand Jury of South Carolina".

SECTION 14-7-1610. Legislative findings and intent; applicability.

(A) It is the intent of the General Assembly to enhance the grand jury system and to improve the ability of the State to detect and eliminate criminal activity. The General Assembly recognizes the great importance of having the federal authorities available for certain investigations. The General Assembly finds that crimes involving narcotics, dangerous drugs, or controlled substances, as well as crimes involving obscenity, often transpire or have significance in more than one county of this State. When this occurs, these crimes are most effectively detected and investigated by a grand jury system with the authority to cross county lines.

(B) The General Assembly finds that there is a critical need to enhance the grand jury system to improve the ability of the State to prevent, detect, investigate, and prosecute crimes involving criminal gang activity or a pattern of criminal gang activity pursuant to the provisions of Article 3 of Chapter 8, Title 16. Crimes involving criminal gang activity or a pattern of criminal gang activity transpire at times in a single county, but often transpire or have significance in more than one county of this State. The General Assembly believes criminal gang activity poses an immediate, serious, and unacceptable threat to the citizens of the State and therefore warrants the state grand jury possessing considerably broader investigative authority.

(C) The General Assembly finds that there is a need to enhance the grand jury system to improve the ability of the State to detect and eliminate public corruption. Crimes involving public corruption transpire at times in a single county, but often transpire or have significance in more than one county of this State. The General Assembly believes that a state grand jury, possessing considerably broader investigative authority than individual county grand juries, should be available to investigate public corruption offenses in South Carolina.

(D) The General Assembly finds it fundamentally necessary to improve the ability of the State to prevent, detect, investigate, and prosecute crimes that involve the depiction of children under the age of eighteen in sexual activity, and obscenity crimes that are directed toward or involve children under the age of eighteen. The serious and unacceptable threat that these crimes pose to children is self-evident and impacts the State as a whole even if the actual criminal act occurs only in one county of the State. An effective effort to eliminate these heinous crimes requires a coordinated effort, which is accomplished more effectively through the state grand jury system. The effective prevention, detection, investigation, and prosecution of these crimes may require the use and application of state obscenity statutes or common law offenses not specifically directed toward the prevention and punishment of obscenity crimes involving children. Because many of these crimes involve computers, statewide jurisdiction over these crimes is consistent with the jurisdiction of a state grand jury over offenses defined in the Computer Crime Act. The General Assembly concludes that a state grand jury must be available to employ its broad investigative powers in the investigation of child-related obscenity by enabling the state grand jury to investigate all obscenity offenses, regardless of their multi-county impact, or whether they transpire or have significance in more than one county of this State.

(E) The General Assembly finds that there is a need to enhance the grand jury system to improve the ability of the State to detect and investigate crimes involving the election laws including, but not limited to, those named offenses as specified in Title 7, or common law crimes involving the election laws where not superseded, or a crime arising out of or in connection with the election laws, or attempt, aiding, abetting, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit a crime involving the election laws.

(F) The General Assembly finds that there is a need to enhance the grand jury system to improve the ability of the State to detect and investigate knowing and wilful crimes which result in actual and substantial harm to the environment. These crimes include knowing and wilful offenses specified in Titles 13, 44, and 48, or any knowing and wilful crime arising out of or in connection with environmental laws, or any attempt, aiding, abetting, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit a knowing and wilful crime involving the environment if the anticipated actual damages including, but not limited to, the cost of remediation, are two million dollars or more, as certified by an independent environmental engineer who shall be contracted by the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

(1) The General Assembly finds that the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control possesses the expertise and knowledge to determine whether there has occurred an alleged environmental offense as defined in this article.

(2) The General Assembly finds that, because of its expertise and knowledge, the Department of Health and Environmental Control must play a substantial role in the investigation of any such alleged environmental offense.

(3) The General Assembly finds that, while the Department of Health and Environmental Control must not make prosecutorial decisions regarding such alleged environmental offense as defined in this article, the department must be integrally involved in the investigation of any such alleged environmental offense before and after the impaneling of a state grand jury pursuant to Section 14-7-1630.

(4) The General Assembly finds that it is in the public interest to avoid duplicative and overlapping prosecutions to the extent that the Attorney General considers possible. Therefore, the Attorney General shall consult with and advise the Environmental Protection and Enforcement Coordinating Subcommittee and cooperate with other state and federal prosecutorial authorities having jurisdiction over environmental enforcement in order to carry out the provisions of Sections 14-7-1630(A)(8) and 14-7-1630(C).

(G) The General Assembly finds that related criminal activity often arises out of or in connection with crimes involving narcotics, dangerous drugs or controlled substances, criminal gang activity, obscenity, public corruption, or environmental offenses and that the mechanism for detecting and investigating these related crimes must be improved.

(H) Accordingly, the General Assembly concludes that a state grand jury should be allowed to investigate certain crimes related to narcotics, dangerous drugs or controlled substances, criminal gang activity, and obscenity and also should be allowed to investigate crimes involving public corruption, election laws, and environmental offenses.

(I) This section does not limit the authority of a county grand jury, solicitor, or other appropriate law enforcement personnel to investigate, indict, or prosecute offenses within the jurisdiction of the state grand jury.

SECTION 14-7-1615. Definitions.

For purposes of this article:

(A) the phrase "Attorney General or his designee" also includes:

(1) the Attorney General or his designees;

(2) the Attorney General and his designee or designees.

(B) The term "public corruption" means any unlawful activity, under color of or in connection with any public office or employment, of:

(1) any public official, public member, or public employee, or the agent, servant, assignee, consultant, contractor, vendor, de