Myrtle Beach will investigate state, Horry police after ‘suicidal’ man is killed

MYRTLE BEACH ONLINE, 4 AUGUST 2017, FEAT. PROF. SETH STOUGHTON:

A web of yellow crime scene tape was spun around a Deerfield Plantation home where police say a “suicidal” man was killed by a law enforcement officer early Friday.

Myrtle Beach police will investigate the death, because the State Law Enforcement Division helped respond to the call. SLED typically investigates officer-involved shootings by other agencies.

The identity of the man, who later died in the hospital, had not been released by local authorities by Friday afternoon.

As Self-Driving Cars Near, Washington Plays Catch-Up

NEW YORK TIMES, 21 JULY 2017, FEAT. PROF. BRYANT WALKER SMITH:

Self-driving cars are zooming at breakneck speed toward America’s roadways, and Washington is finally reaching for its seatbelt.

For years, the race to create fully autonomous vehicles went mostly unnoticed by federal lawmakers, who tended to speak of self-driving cars (if they spoke of them at all) as something out of “The Jetsons.” It was an odd blind spot, given how close companies in Silicon Valley and Detroit were to creating mass-market autonomous vehicles, and how many important industries — taxi driving, long-haul trucking and shipping among them — stood to be drastically transformed as a result.

But now, lawmakers are taking cautious steps toward the driverless future.

On Wednesday, a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee voted to advance a bill that would speed up the development of self-driving cars and establish a federal framework for their regulation. The bill, known as the Highly Automated Vehicle Testing and Deployment Act of 2017, is the first major federal effort to regulate autonomous vehicles, and would give the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration broad oversight of the self-driving car industry. A full committee vote on the measure is expected next week, and the bill could go before the entire House this fall.

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Former roommates at odds over dog whose fate may be up to York County jury

THE HERALD (ROCK HILL), 26 JULY 2017, FEAT. PROF. KENNETH GAINES

Reagan wears an American flag bandanna and went to class at Winthrop University.

Some say Reagan was interviewed in 2016 by a Winthrop women’s publication about what it’s like to be famous at the Rock Hill school.

Reagan is a dog – a male Goldendoodle.

Now the dog is at the center of a lawsuit in York County, because two former Winthrop roommates are at odds.

Under state law, Reagan is property. The question is, whose property. Does the dog belong to Matthew Snyder or Joey Mercurio? Snyder claims to own Reagan, but Mercurio has kept the dog the past year. 

Snyder has filed a lawsuit.

Despite potential for negative image of South Carolina, ‘Live PD’ seen as public relations win for local law enforcers

POST AND COURIER, 16 JULY 2017, FEAT. PROF. SETH STOUGHTON:

The man pulled his 2-year-old by the arm from his wrecked car and twirled the toddler through the air until she landed back in his grasp.

A sheriff’s deputy ran up to him after chasing the sedan over Columbia-area roads on July 8, not knowing that a child was inside and unrestrained by any car seat.

They fought.

A plant dies, and some ask if nuclear can help the climate

E&E, 3 AUGUST 2017, FEAT. PROF. NATHAN RICHARDSON:

Nuclear power plants provide 60 percent of America’s carbon-free electricity. But efforts to increase that figure were dealt a serious blow this week when two South Carolina utilities elected to abandon two new reactors at V.C. Summer, an existing nuclear power plant about 20 miles northwest of Columbia.

The decision sparked an immediate debate among greens seeking to curb carbon dioxide emissions. Nuclear advocates said it illustrates the need for further government support, arguing that America risks losing not only the workforce and supply chain needed to service a civilian nuclear industry, but also a valuable tool for decarbonizing the power sector.

Others said the project’s cost overruns and construction delays make new nuclear facilities an impractical tool to solve the climate conundrum. V.C. Summer’s projected cost had ballooned from an initial estimate of about $11 billion to more than $20 billion (Energywire, Aug. 1).

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Zero Tolerance Policies in Schools May Be Losing Favor

SOUTH CAROLINA PUBLIC RADIO, 24 JULY 2017, FEAT. PROF. DEREK BLACK:

In many schools across the nation in the last few decades, concerns over discipline have led to so-called “zero tolerance” policies. USC law Professor Derek Black says suspension and expulsion rates have doubled under zero tolerance policies in the past 30 years.

Texas educator Dr. Nesa Sasser Hartford believes that the policies are justified in three specific areas – drugs, guns and sexual improprieties. Black says that zero tolerance is cheap and efficient in the short run, but ultimately expulsion is much more expensive than keeping kids in school. Both educators agree that, at least in most cases, zero tolerance could become outdated in the coming years.

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State’s domestic violence laws include same-sex married couples, South Carolina Supreme Court rules

POST AND COURIER, 26 JUNE 2017, FEAT. PROF. KENNETH GAINES:  

People in married, same-sex relationships are protected under the state’s domestic violence law passed in 2015, the S.C. Supreme Court determined Wednesday in a split ruling.

But the S.C. Attorney General said the order from the state’s highest court would effectively limit the number of people the law protects, saying his office will urge the Supreme Court to reconsider.

Justices last March heard the case of a woman who was denied an order of protection by a Richland County court after being hit and choked by her ex-fiancee, also a woman. Attorneys for the woman, identified as Jane Doe, argued the state’s law violates the constitution because it does not protect unmarried same-sex couples.

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The Future of Policing

THE REGULATORY REVIEW, 17 JULY 2017, FEAT. PROF. SETH STOUGHTON:

The year is 2086. An artificial intelligence program monitors the feeds from security cameras placed around the city. Swarms of police drones fly through the air conducting surveillance on suspicious individuals. Autonomous police vehicles patrol the neighborhoods, and, when necessary, disable and detain dangerous suspects.

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Opioid epidemic contributing to foster care crisis

WLOX, 30 JULY 2017, FEAT. MICHELLE DHUNJISHAH

Lawmakers at the 71st annual Southern Legislative Conference spent part of the day discussing the foster care crisis in the United States.

The director of the Children’s Law Center at the University of South Carolina School of Law spoke to legislators about the programs that have been put in place in her state to help alleviate the problem.

“We are seeing rising numbers of children in foster care across the country because of the opioid crisis and epidemic,” said Michelle Dhunjishah. “That, I believe, is the next big thing we’re going to have to face if we’re going to keep our children safe in this country.”

Dhunjishah says the foster care system is a joint effort that starts at the top with policy makers, and is supported all the way down to community members. 

The conference continues through Wednesday, August 2.

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