Solicitor Wilson seeking second opinion on pathologist’s findings in Jamal Sutherland death investigation

Jamal Sutherland Death Investigation

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson on Tuesday released an additional statement regarding the death of Jamal Sutherland, who died January 5 while in the Al Cannon Detention Center.

In the statement, Wilson praises community members engaging in peaceful protest, saying their “resolve is admirable, and [their] voices are heard!”

She also says that the video released in the case is “disturbing” and “the exposure of mental health care failures is maddening.” However, “in order for the State to hold someone criminally responsible for another’s death, the State must prove unlawful conduct was the proximate cause of death.”


The pathologist in the case originally determined “that Jamal Sutherland died, ‘as a result of excited state with pharmacotherapeutic effect during subdual process.'” Wilson is seeking a second opinion on the matter.

Wilson said that she is investigating all aspects of the case and that she “[intends] to bring justice to the Sutherland family, and to any suspects in this investigation.”

She ended with the following explanation for the limited information she has provided regarding the case:

“It is my responsibility to analyze the evidence collected and to decide whether the State can prove a criminal offense beyond a reasonable doubt. No well-meaning person wants any prosecution to proceed without a thorough and complete investigation and analysis. It would be unprofessional, unethical, and irresponsible to advance a prosecution without all the pertinent evidence. If I were to determine we have a prosecutable case, we will pursue criminal charges. On the other hand, if after analyzing and investigating all the evidence, I were to determine the State cannot prove a criminal charge beyond a reasonable doubt, I will owe the Sutherland family and the community a thorough explanation of the obstacles. Regardless of which conclusion I reach, I must perform due diligence and I am doing just that.”

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