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2008-UP-679 - Hankins v. SC Department of Corrections

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE.  IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 239(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals

Calvin Bernard Hankins, #241248, Appellant,

v.

South Carolina Department of Corrections, Respondent.


Appeal From the Administrative Law Court
 John D. Geathers, Administrative Law Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2008-UP-679
Submitted November 1, 2008 – Filed December 9, 2008    


AFFIRMED


Calvin Hankins, pro se, for Appellant.

Robert Wesley Jacobs, South Carolina Department of Corrections, of Columbia, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM:  In 1994, Calvin Bernard Hankins was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to twenty-five years’ imprisonment.  Hankins appeals the calculation of his early release date, arguing the Administrative Law Court (ALC) erred in affirming the calculations of the South Carolina Department of Corrections (Department).  We affirm[1] pursuant to Rule 220(b), SCACR, and the following authorities. 

1.  As to the question whether the ALC erred in finding substantial evidence supported the Department’s calculation of Hankins’ sentence:  S.C. Code Ann. § 24-13-210 (2007) (providing a prisoner convicted of a parole-eligible offense may earn credit to be used toward early release in the amount of twenty days’ credit for each month served with good conduct; however, he may lose all or part of his earned credits for committing an offense or violating rules of the institution where he is incarcerated)[2]; S.C. Code Ann. § 24-13-230 (2007) (enabling a prisoner to earn credit toward early release by participating in productive work or education programs while incarcerated); Busby v. Moore, 330 S.C. 201, 204, 498 S.E.2d 883, 884 (1998) (holding earned credits may not be applied to a prisoner’s sentence until after they have been earned), overruled on other grounds by Al-Shabazz v. State, 338 S.C. 354, 527 S.E.2d 742 (2000). 

2.  As to whether the ALC erred in finding substantial evidence supported the Department’s performance of its calculations in a routine and good-faith exercise of its administrative duties:  S.C. Dep’t of Corrections v. Mitchell, 377 S.C. 256, 259, 659 S.E.2d 233, 235 (Ct. App. 2008) (quoting Waters v. S.C. Land Res. Conservation Comm’n, 321 S.C. 219, 226, 467 S.E.2d 913, 917 (1996)) (“The burden is on appellants to prove convincingly that the agency’s decision is unsupported by the evidence.”).

3.  As to whether the Department’s calculation of Hankins’ sentence infringes upon his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights:  DuRant v. S.C. Dep’t of Health and Envtl. Control, 361 S.C. 416, 424, 604 S.E.2d 704, 709 (Ct. App. 2004) (holding constitutional issues not raised to and ruled on by a lower court are not preserved for appellate review); Dorman v. Dep’t of Health and Envtl. Control, 350 S.C. 159, 171, 565 S.E.2d 119, 126 (Ct. App. 2002) (holding although the ALC lacks jurisdiction to rule on a facial challenge to the constitutionality of a statute or regulation, the ALC can rule on whether the application of a law violates a party’s constitutional rights). 

 AFFIRMED.

HEARN, C.J., KONDUROS, J., and GOOLSBY, A.J. concur.


[1] We decide this case without oral argument pursuant to Rule 215, SCACR.

[2] Hankins entered the Department’s custody prior to the Legislature’s enactment of a statute requiring a prisoner to serve a minimum of eighty-five percent of his sentence before becoming eligible for early release.  S.C. Code Ann. § 24-13-150 (2007).