COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina House has passed a bill this week eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes.
The bill passed on a 62-45 vote Wednesday also reduces the amount of time drug offenders have to serve in prison for some offenses.
House Judiciary Chairman Chris Murphy says the bill brings South Carolina laws in line with its neighbors and the federal government.
It reduces the amount of time prisoners have to serve on drug offenses that do not offer parole to 65% of their sentence. Current law requires them to serve 85% of their sentences.
That proposal is retroactive and would cut the sentences of about 500 of the state’s 20,000 inmates.