Top Secret Order: Pardoning Convicted Murderer

In State v. Price, a 2023 decision by the South Carolina Supreme Court, convicted murderer Price was released from prison before serving his full 35-year sentence as ordered. Judge L. Casey Manning signed an order reducing Price’s sentence from 35 to 19 years, and the Department of Corrections released him. However, the Order was sealed and not part of the official court records, and the Supreme Court believed this violated public access to courtroom proceedings. The release was reversed, and the public was critical of the secrecy surrounding the case. Despite claims that sealing the information was necessary to protect someone still in the Department of Corrections, the court ruled that such concerns, while valid, did not differ substantially from similar concerns in other cases and should not override the public’s right to access court records and proceedings.