The State of South Carolina doesn’t have the drugs it needs to execute a convicted killer. Bobby Wayne Stone, who was convicted of murdering a Sumter County deputy in 1996, is set to be executed on Dec. 1. However, the state has not executed any death row inmates in six years, because it can’t get lethal injection drugs. “The reason we don’t have the drugs despite intense efforts to get them is because the companies that make them, the distributors who distribute them and the pharmacies who may have to compound them don’t want to be identified,” Gov. Henry McMaster said. He urged the state legislature to pass a controversial bill to grant those drugmakers anonymity. — Chris Trainor

State Supreme Court Ends Landmark Education Lawsuit 

In a 3-2 decision, the South Carolina Supreme Court ended a nearly quarter-century old lawsuit that sought to bring greater funding to the state’s poor, rural school districts. The suit — Abbeville County Schools, et al. v. The State of South Carolina — had been gestating in the court system since the Clinton Administration. Some legislators were displeased with the court’s decision and what it could mean for rural education funding. “I’m afraid this issue has now been put on the back-burner,” said state Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, an Orangeburg Democrat. “Without the pressure of the court, I don’t see the General Assembly doing anything.” Meanwhile, up in Abbeville County, which became the namesake of the multi-decade suit that included many rural districts, school Superintendent Betty Jo Hall said she was dismayed with the decision. “I think that’s unfortunate because I think we still know there are disparities that we’re facing as a school district,” Hall said, according to the Index-Journal. “We are, of course, extremely disappointed that no more equity came out of that lawsuit, but we will continue to strive to do what’s best for the students that we serve.” — Chris Trainor

SCE&G Wants to Refund Customers, but Lawmakers Say It’s Not Enough

Embattled SCE&G proposed a plan that would reportedly cut customers’ electric rates following the controversial shuttering of the construction of new nuclear reactors at V.C. Summer. According to Andy Brown at The Post and Courier, “[t]he plan allows for a rollback of residential electric rates, which will create an annual reduction of about $90 million (or 3.5 percent). SCE&G estimates a customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a month will see a reduction of more than $5 in each monthly bill.” Brown reports that SCANA’s shareholders will be on the hook for net nuclear construction costs in the form of reduced earnings for the next 50 years. Lawmakers were quick to say the proposed compromise was weak. “[The] proposal provides further proof that SCANA has consistently prioritized the company’s profits over protecting its consumers,” said S.C. House Speaker Jay Lucas. The House has a package working through the Legislature that will cut rates back to pre-nuclear project levels and allow the possibility of a refund to ratepayers. — Chris Trainor and

David Travis Bland

Quick Settlement for Taser Case

Albert Chatfield has settled with the Town of Kingstree after he was tased by police officers. On Oct. 16 Chatfield, a black man, was pulled over, exited his car, and was tased while backing away from an officer, sending the 86-year-old man to the ground and putting him in the hospital. Chatfield’s lawyer, state Rep. Justin Bamberg, is saying that his client “got one of the ‘quickest and most considerable’ settlements ever in a South Carolina police Taser case in which no lawsuit had been filed,” The Post and Courier reported. — David Travis Bland

Courson’s Court Woes Continue 

The state Supreme Court denied an appeal from longtime state Sen. John Courson, who has been indicted in special prosecutor David Pascoe’s long running State House corruption probe. Courson’s lawyers argued that Pascoe has no authority to prosecute the senator, who has been accused of pocketing $160,000 in campaign cash. The Supreme Court said Courson cannot appeal to the state’s highest court unless and until he’s convicted. Lawyers are also butting heads on when to hold Courson’s trial. Both Pascoe and Courson’s attorney Rosemary Parham have previously stated they wanted a speedy trial for the veteran lawmaker, but now it appears Parham needs more time to prepare Courson’s case. According to The State, Parham says Pascoe’s office has just given her 70,000 pages of documents to review. “We want a speedy trial, but we want a fair trial,” Parham told reporter John Monk. — Chris Trainor

We're improving out commenting experience.

We’ve temporarily removed comments from articles while we work on a new and better commenting experience. In the meantime, subscribers are encouraged to join the conversation on our Free Times Facebook page.