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I am Kevin Brackett, Solicitor for the 16th Judicial Circuit in South Carolina. I appreciate you coming to this site and your interest in this case. The purpose of this website is to respond to the Dateline NBC television coverage of the trial of Billy Wayne Cope. The many factual errors, omissions and misrepresentations that were contained in the Dateline story left the uninformed, casual viewer with the impression that Mr. Cope had been railroaded by a justice system that was both corrupt and inept. I aim to correct that impression.
It is not our purpose to retry the case on this site. Criminal cases should be tried in courts of law according to established rules of evidence. Mr. Cope had such a trial and is now pursuing his appeals. The purpose of this website is to cause you to scrutinize Dateline’s performance as an honest broker of information.
We are only using material from the trial of this case. The full transcript is posted here with the kind permission of the court reporter. The pictures, documents and crime videos used in the trial are all part of the public record. We have made a few videos to help give a general overview of certain aspects of the case and trial. Wherever we can, we cite back to the official transcript to give you the opportunity to verify what we are saying.
We turned out in six days a response to what Dateline has worked on for six years. We strived to be accurate and include all the information we could think of that could help you reach your own conclusions about this case that were based on reliable, verifiable information. If you see a mistake or can’t find something we promised to include please let us know.
Finally, I do not have the million dollar budget to turn out a slickly packaged product like Dateline. It’s just me, a video camera, a few dedicated colleagues and the truth.
I like our odds.KB