Heard January 6, 2015
Appeal From Richland County. DeAndrea G. Benjamin, Circuit Court Judge. Appellate Case No. 2013-000933.
Appellate Defender Laura Ruth Baer, of Columbia, for Appellant.
Attorney General Alan M. Wilson, Assistant Attorney General Mark R. Farthing, and Solicitor Daniel E. Johnson, all of Columbia, for Respondent.
[412 S.C. 89] SHORT, J.
Conrad Lamont Slocumb appeals his aggregate sentence of one hundred thirty years for offenses he committed when he was a juvenile, arguing it is the functional equivalent of a life sentence without parole and violates the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. We affirm.
For offenses committed in 1996, Slocumb was convicted of first-degree burglary, first-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC 1st), kidnapping, escape, and robbery. At the time the crimes were committed, Slocumb was sixteen years old.
The Honorable James W. Johnson, Jr., sentenced Slocumb to three terms of life imprisonment without parole for burglary, CSC 1st, and kidnapping based on a prior 1993 conviction [412 S.C. 90] for CSC 1st. Judge Johnson also sentenced Slocumb to consecutive terms of fifteen years for robbery and five years for escape. Slocumb appealed and in State v. Slocumb, 336 S.C. 619, 521 S.E.2d 507 (Ct.App. 1999), this court affirmed his convictions. Our supreme court denied Slocumb's petition for certiorari on June 7, 2000.
While his direct appeal was pending, Slocumb filed post-conviction relief (PCR) actions challenging his 1993 convictions. On November 8, 1999, our supreme court granted relief and found the trial court was without jurisdiction to accept Slocumb's 1993 plea. Slocumb v. State, 337 S.C. 46, 50, 522 S.E.2d 809, 811 (1999). In granting PCR, the court found a criminal sexual conduct charge committed by a juvenile under the age of fourteen was not transferrable to general sessions under the statute prevailing at the time. Id. That plea was the basis for the life sentences Slocumb received under South Carolina's recidivist statute. See S.C. Code Ann. § 17-25-45 (2014) (providing for the imposition of a life sentence on an offender convicted of certain prior crimes).
Slocumb appeared before Judge Johnson again on March 16, 2000, and was resentenced to life imprisonment for burglary, thirty years for kidnapping, thirty years for CSC 1st, fifteen years for robbery, and five years for escape. All terms were to be consecutively served. This court vacated the sentences on March 16, 2000, for lack of jurisdiction because there remained matters pending on Slocumb's direct appeal. Slocumb again appeared before Judge Johnson on February 18, 2004, and was resentenced to ...