Future unknown for Solicitor Barbara Morgan

By: Gene Petriello Email
By: Gene Petriello Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock, February 1, 2008

AIKEN, S.C. --- She still has nearly a year to go, but South Carolina 2nd Circuit Solicitor Barbara Morgan won't seek re-election. And word is, she might have bigger plans awaiting her.

Morgan and I went to lunch on Friday, to talk about her plans for the future in a candid interview.

Changes are, you may know Solicitor Morgan behind her desk looking at cases, or in the courtroom prosecuting them. But, how about in a restaurant over lunch? There, she reflected on how things have changes, now in her 19th year as Solicitor.

"Case load was small. It was pre-CSI. It was pre-DNA," says Morgan.

News 12: "For the last 19 years, you've got to have some challenges. What are some of the biggest ones you've faced?"

Morgan: "It was quite a challenge as a woman cause there had only been 1 woman before me in the state. They weren't quite sure what to do with a woman in that position. People aren't always sure. Do they think you're tough enough? Do they think you can handle the pressure."

"We've dealt with some horrible cases, but the challenge is... the most difficult thing was the very first death penalty I did," Morgan said. "I was young. And when I was young, I thought maybe the death penalty is wrong. I don't feel that way not, but it's an incredible responsibility."

Morgan says no case has ever haunted her, even the tougher ones, like a double murder case.

"The reason why it doesn't haunt me is the wonders and the gifts are you get to be close to the victims family," says Morgan.

And, she's learned a lot on the job too.

"To never think you know everything. The second you think you know it, you are a fool. And to be prepared for the unexpected," says Morgan.

Morgan says it would be an honor to be a U.S. Attorney.

"But I told some people this morning, it's gray space announcing I was not going to run. It allows me to gently close a chapter and to be open to possibilities and I don't have to know what they are," says Morgan.

News 12: "Aside from work, do you like Aiken?"

Morgan: "I love Aiken. I love the 2nd Circuit. I love Aiken. I'm grateful beyond words on my day-to-day life and that's pretty neat."

In her time left in office, Morgan is looking forward to watching the Child Advocacy Center grow. Her advice for the next Solicitor would be to: "not be afraid of the truth. Principles are everything, not politics. Be good to everyone."

Aiken attorney J. Strom Thurmond Jr. says he will seek the seat. He worked as an assistant to Morgan from 1999 to 2001 and was South Carolina's U.S. Attorney from 2001 to 2005.

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  • by TCB Location: Aiken on Jan 4, 2009 at 03:35 PM
    What is the future of Solicitor Barbara Morgan now that her term is over?
  • by Young Location: WEst Columbia on May 17, 2008 at 03:58 PM
    Stand in line. It's been almost 10 years since the Jason Cook murder and she's been promising to prosecute that case for many years. He was the USC-A student from West Columbia. Feel so sorry for his family as they continue to wait for her to prosecute this case.
  • by BabyJane Location: Aiken on May 17, 2008 at 07:42 AM
    Barbara Morgan's office promised to take Susan Meloan to trial in early 2008. It's no wonder this lying dog is not running for solicitor again!
  • by PRAY4COMFORT Location: SC on May 6, 2008 at 01:36 PM
    Well its been almost a year and Susan Meloan has not went to court yet. Looks like another "woman" gets away with molestion of young boys.
  • by Mike Location: North Augusta on Mar 5, 2008 at 04:45 PM
    Kelvin Mathis should have never been arrested as the charges against him were only based on accusations with no other witnesses nor supporting evidence. We're not surprised that the jury just dismissed all the charges against him. Why didn't the local media do a better job covering this case - no front page story here!!!
  • by Candace Location: Ridge Spring on Mar 2, 2008 at 05:56 AM
    How can you take a man to trial for murder, like Joseph Hankerson, loose the trial after spending a week in court and costing taxpayers thousands and then essentially drop the murder charge and accept a plea for accessory after the fact. This appears to have been incompetent and unethical prosecution as well as abuse of judicial process.
  • by charlie Location: north augusta on Feb 29, 2008 at 02:34 PM
    we heard that one of the female prosecutors who works for her is also planning to run for solicitor.
  • by Joy Batchelor Location: North Augusta, SC on Feb 28, 2008 at 02:11 PM
    I can tell you that Ms. Morgan has one of the toughest jobs around. I know during the 3 years prior to Michael Batchelor going to trial Ms. Morgan was always very concerned with my case and she fought for my boys with everything that she had. I can tell you that with the Carpenter case Ms. Morgan lost many nights of sleep, there is always two sides to every story. Maybe she pled the murderer out to keep the family from having to go through several years of appeals. The convicts seem to have more rights that the victims. I can tell you that going through an appeal is not anything that you want to experience. You think that you are getting back to some type of a normal life and then you have to re-live the horror of lossing a child. I know that during the years of the Carpenter families wait for trial, that the murderer kept getting a new lawyer, which pushed the trial back to square one. So many people are putting Ms. Morgan down. Leave her ALONE.
  • by Jack Location: Columbia on Feb 26, 2008 at 04:32 AM
    Regarding the Michael Batchelor indictments, if the solicitor knowingly and willingly misrespresented the facts (i.e., stating that he was the driver and in fact was not) as claimed by SC Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Toal, then that is clearly grounds for disciplinary action up to and including disbarment since the Grand Jury is a judicial tribunal.
  • by bruce Location: charleston on Feb 21, 2008 at 06:51 PM
    Do you not have editors? I like and respect Barbara Morgan but this has to be one of the worst pieces of writing I have ever seen.
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