Lawmaker wants to pass bill making it illegal for crimes to be r - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Lawmaker wants to pass bill making it illegal for crimes to be recorded

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CHARLESTON, SC -

South Carolina Senator Vincent Sheheen is proposing a bill that would make it illegal for someone to record a crime on their cell phone.

Sheheen said he wrote the bill after hearing more stories of people punching bystanders and killing them in an incident known as the, "knockout game."

A local defense attorney in Charleston said he isn't so sure this bill may be as effective as it's intended to be.

"It does seem a little unique," David Aylor said. "I haven't seen a lot of knockout cases in South Carolina. I've actually seen none, and my office hasn't seen any."

In addition to concerns over the necessity of the bill, Aylor is also concerned the bill may be redundant. He said there are multiple other felonies someone can be charged with if they are caught recording the video, such as conspiracy.

"It seems like if someone was committing the crime and another person was aware of that or filming that, then you can somehow connect them to the crime similar to a watchout or lookout or maybe the driver of a robbery," David Aylor said.

There are exceptions to the bill. Police are still allowed to use surveillance video as part of their investigation. Also, bystanders who have no part or knowledge of a crime are allowed to record the event to pass along to police or the media.

Aylor said cell phone videos are becoming an essential part of trials.

"The public has a right to see that and continue to," he said. "I think it shines a light on a lot of things that can be helpful to the community."

The bill still has many legal hurdles to get through. It still has to be discussed and voted out of committee, then has to be voted by lawmakers. Lawmakers return to the state house on Tuesday.

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