Inside Interview: Scarlett Wilson, 9th Circuit Solicitor candidate

As promised, our Inside Interview series will introduce y'all to the two Republican candidates seeking to fill the 9th Circuit Solicitor's Office.

Since she won the coin toss, Scarlett Wilson, who was appointed interim Solicitor, goes first ...

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

At first, I wanted to prosecute because I wanted trial experience. Very quickly, however, I was moved by seeing the impact that I could have on victims by giving them and their cases my time and attention. I feel blessed to have realized very early in my life that prosecution is my “calling.” Knowing that I help those who have been hurt and who have lost so much is the most rewarding experience; it’s one that you just can’t put a price tag on. Working with law enforcement also provides a camaraderie that is unique to those of us involved in prosecution. Knowing that we are all a team and are working together for common causes is great… you always know that somebody has your back! Becoming Solicitor was the highest honor of my career because the Governor could have chosen anyone. Continuing Solicitor Hoisington’s legacy and building upon it has been extremely rewarding. From aggressive murder docketing to taking steps to close the “revolving door” to streamlining the bureaucracies of the office, we’ve made real progress working together as a team.

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

In my first year as a lawyer, I tried a case in which a mentally handicapped woman had been raped. She was in her early 20s but had the mind of a 7 year old. She was the apple of everyone’s eye in her entire family and they doted on her like she was The Queen. Before I took over the case, there had been 4 prosecutors assigned to it. That is simply ridiculous. The family was so kind and patient but I was outraged that the case had dragged on for three years and that so many prosecutors had not wanted to deal with the case. I worked very closely with the victim and with her family and we convicted the guy and he got the max of 30 years. I will never forget how sweet the victim and her family were to me and how gracious they were in such terrible circumstances.

The most challenging case that I’ve had involved the prosecution of a “no body” murder case. The Feds wouldn’t take the case though there were interstate aspects to it. Edwina Sims disappeared after traveling from Virginia to visit Ronald Coulter (who was her daughter’s father) and his family in Charleston County. We proceeded to trial against Coulter despite the fact that Sims’ body had not been found. After convicting Coulter and obtaining a 30 year sentence, a team of investigators and I located the body in rural Berkeley County. Being able to take a case that no one believed we could win and to end up not only getting a 30 year sentence but also finding the Edwina and giving her family a proper burial was amazing. Calling Edwina’s family from the woods of Berkeley County and letting them know we had found her was something I will never forget. As difficult as it was, I knew that without finding her body, Edwina’s children would always wonder if she had simply abandoned them and was living somewhere else in the world. Working the co-defendants against each other until we found the body was a grueling process but one where my Federal experience came in handy.

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 growing problem with illegal aliens is going to be more and more of an issue in the criminal justice system. The federal government has failed us and it is now up to us at the local level to step up to the plate. As the chief prosecutor, I will continue to vigorously prosecute illegals and do my part to see that they serve time and then get deported.

Multi-defendant violence is a continuing problem that is likely to get worse. This includes gang activity. I already have provided my prosecutors with training on how to recognize gang activity and we are working with local law enforcement to make sure we are sharing information about related crimes. Assigning agencies to specific teams of prosecutors will help us all work together to keep our neighborhoods safer.

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

1) Continuing to crack down on violent offenders, especially those who are repeat customers. Abolishing parole will be a key tool in keeping those who prey upon society behind bars. We have to approach this from both ends with fierce bond revocations and serious consequences for those who violate probation and parole (while it still exists!). I want my office to help an overwhelmed and discouraged Probation and Parole Agency get results in the courtroom. Unlike the federal system, the State system does not provide for our involvement in probation and parole violations. I want to change that and have taken steps to help them out. Probation and parole are privileges that should be “yanked” when criminals violate. Aggressive Murder Docketing will continue to be a policy while I am Solicitor. The results we have achieved in just 10 months have been remarkable, having brought more killers to justice than ever before.

2) Doing my part as Solicitor to crack down on illegal aliens who are robbing us of our wonderful quality of life is a priority. We cannot allow this area to be considered a sanctuary. We have to convict these criminals, give them prison time so that their message home is: Don’t come to Charleston and Berkeley Counties. It also will give them a second thought about returning to our area once they are deported… AFTER serving their time in prison.

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

It’s not hard to stay committed. Seeing the face of a victim turn from devastation to empowerment and accomplishment is very rewarding. Knowing day in and day out that I am making a difference in people’s lives and am helping make our community safer is all I could ask for in a career.

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

There is absolutely now way I can pick a favorite album. I love music and seeing folks in concert is one of my favorite things to do. To give you an idea of what I like, in theWinter, I listen to a lot of Country Music. I listen to Willie Nelson, Toby Keith, Dolly Parton, Dirks Bentley and Sammy Kershaw. The Summer months call for Dave Matthews Band, Jack Johnson, Sheryl Crow and a little James Taylor.

3 Response to "Inside Interview: Scarlett Wilson, 9th Circuit Solicitor candidate"

  1. soon to be on lake marion moye 29/5/08 13:05
    I really dont have a dog in this fight but this lady seems to have it together. By the way I did get to vote yesterday in Clarendon. They had the machines working well. I may be the only GOP Primary voter in town. Yes you know I voted for Lindsey.
  2. Linda Riney 29/5/08 19:03
    I am very proud of this lady. Not only is she a very accomplished professional prosecutor, she possesses qualities of true integrity that are indeed rare in today's politicians.
    P.S. I'm glad to see 'soon to be on lake marion moye' thinks putting 20 million illegals on our welfare and SS rolls, violating the constitution by joining the "Gang of 14", voting against making the Bush tax cuts permanent, and blocking all efforts to tap our own oil sources which results in us paying through the nose for foreign oil, are all great ideas. Lindsey thinks so, too.
  3. west_rhino 30/5/08 09:36
    Interesting rounds of endorsements in this race. By inference, Ms. Wilson appears to have Gov. Sanford's as the appointee to fill the balance of Ralph Hoisington's term and I've noted one fo her signs (4X8) in front of Charlie Condon's office in Mt. P.

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