Inside Interview: Blair Jennings, 9th Circuit Solicitor candidate

Round two of our special Inside Interview look at the 9th Circuit Solictor's race goes to Republican Blair Jennings. In charge of the Berkeley County Solicitor's Office under Solicitor Ralph Hoisington, who died last year, Blair is running to fill the office for both counties in the circuit.

Let's hear what he has to say:

Tell our readers a little bit about what made you want to go into prosecution.

I actually got involved in prosecution during law school when I began clerking for the Solicitors Office in Columbia. What I found was that as an attorney, this was the best way I could give back to my community, and make it a better and safer place. It is an incredible feeling to know that everday when you go home, you have made the community safer. I am not sure there is a similar area of law where one can make such a profound impact. It is also incredibly rewarding to help people who are many times experiencing the worst situation of their life.

What would you consider to be your most meaningful case? Tell us a little bit about it.

This is definitely the Jesse Sapp case. Mr. Sapp murdered South Carolina Hoghway Patrolman Jeff Johnson at a traffic checkpoint in July 2002. Mr. Sapp was tried, convicted and sentenced to death. This is extremely meaningful because it was an honor to represent all of the men and women who serve our community and country as law enforcement officers. They place their lives in danger everyday, and we need to do everything we can to protect them hen we have the opportunity.

To work on a case everyday for six weeks, you build an incredibly tight bond with the victim's family. It is impossible to express in words the fulfillment I felt after helping Missy and her family through their devastation.

In the next five to ten years, what do you see as the biggest challenges that will be faced in dealing with crime in the Lowcountry?

The next five to ten years will see unparalled grouth in the lowcountry. Therefore, it is going to be imperative that we use innovation and foresight to come up ith new ways to increase the efficiency and productivity of the solicitors office so that we are able to focus our resources on the prosecution of violent criminals. In addition, we must make sure that each governmental agency works together to make sure we maximize our response to the illegal immgration problem that is plauging the lowcountry.

Should you win on June 10th, what do you see as the two biggest priorities for your term as solicitor?

Should I be elected, one priority will be to bring them same working relationship I enjoyed with law enforcement in Berkeley County to Charleston County. THis is something that needs to be done no just in the month's leading to an election, but all of the time. Over my 7 years in Berkeley County I built a reputation working with law enforcement to not only assist with their training, but also to provide any needed assistance with ongoing investigations. I believe this working relationship was reflected in the decision of the Police Benevolent Association to endorse my candidacy for Solicitor.

Secondly, we need to reduce the overall backlog of cases in Charleston, so that the focus of prosecution can return to violent criminals and we can reduce the overwhelming backlog of Murder cases. By instituting many of the initiatives I began in Berkeley County we will reduce not only the backlog of pending cases, but also backlog of old murder cases.

Criminal prosecution is tough work. What keeps you going and committed to your profession?

There are many frustrating times associated with prosecuting. However, I am kept going by a simple thank you from a victim who has appreciated my help.

One of the most important things here in the Blogland is music. What’s your favorite album(s)?

Favorite album - with 11 and 8 year old daughters, I don't get to listen to much adult music. There is not much on our radio except Disney Channel and Hannah Montana.

1 Response to "Inside Interview: Blair Jennings, 9th Circuit Solicitor candidate"

  1. corner of gervais and lincoln streets columbia moye 30/5/08 16:16
    is he serious about the music

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