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Janklow Guilty on all counts

Senior KX Rider

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#1
foxnews.com
FLANDREAU, S.D. — Rep. Bill Janklow (search) is facing a possible jail term and the end of his political career after a jury on Monday convicted the congressman of all charges in the traffic death of a motorcyclist.



A fixture in South Dakota politics for 30 years, Janklow seemed stunned when the verdict was read after a five-hour deliberation. He left the courtroom, got in a vehicle driven by his son and left the courthouse without uttering a word to a horde of reporters.

The congressman had argued that a diabetic reaction was responsible for the fatal crash — a defense his hometown jury did not buy.

• Raw Data: South Dakota v. Janklow (pdf)

Janklow, 64, was convicted of second-degree manslaughter, reckless driving, running a stop sign and speeding for the Aug. 16 crash that killed Randy Scott (search), 55, a farmer from Hardwick, Minn. Prosecutors said Janklow was traveling more than 70 mph in his white Cadillac when he crashed with Scott's Harley-Davidson.

Janklow could get up to 10 years in prison on the manslaughter charge at his sentencing on Jan. 20. The House ethics committee (search) will investigate and could recommend a resolution reprimanding Janklow, censuring him or even expelling him, though expulsion is rare.

Jurors left the courthouse without talking to reporters. They were escorted out by the sheriff, who said the jurors don't want to talk to the media. Both prosecutor Bill Ellingson and defense attorney Ed Evans refused comment.

Janklow, a Republican, was elected to South Dakota's lone House seat last year following an extraordinary political career in which he served four years as state attorney general in the 1970s and 16 years as governor. During his two stints as governor, Janklow won over legions of voters in heavily conservative South Dakota with his tough-talking, maverick style.

His trial created a scenario that once would have seemed unthinkable in this rural state: the enormously powerful Janklow on trial for manslaughter in the farming community where he grew up.

The trial began Dec. 1 with a jury-selection process that revealed Janklow's widespread popularity in Flandreau, a town of about 2,000 people. Several jury candidates knew Janklow and his family, including one who shook hands with the former governor as he left the courtroom.

Once a panel was chosen, jurors witnessed several emotional images during five days of testimony, including Janklow in tears as he described his grief over the crash. A man who was riding motorcycles with Scott cried as he recalled finding the victim's mangled body in a soybean field. Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, himself a pillar of South Dakota politics, also took the stand.

The defense argued that Janklow, a diabetic, was suffering the effects of low blood sugar at the time of the crash because he had not eaten for 18 hours. Medical experts told prosecutors it is unusual for anyone to go that long without food -- and highly dangerous for a diabetic who takes insulin.

But deputy prosecutor Roger Ellyson called the diabetes defense "goofy," saying Janklow concocted the defense as an excuse for his reckless driving.

Ellyson called Janklow an "unbelievably awful and menacing" driver.

"The defendant's driving is like a deadly game of Russian roulette," Ellyson said in closing arguments. "On August 16, Randy Scott took the bullet."

"He couldn't say, 'I was driving so fast I couldn't stop.' Or he couldn't say, 'I always ignore these rural stop signs.' That would be admitting to manslaughter. He knows the trouble he's in," Ellyson said.

The defense said that Janklow took heart medication on the day of the crash that can mask the symptoms of a diabetic reaction. That is why Janklow did not feel his blood sugar drop before the accident, the defense contended.

Several witnesses said they did not see Janklow eat or drink anything that day, including Daschle, who called the congressman "a very truthful person."

Janklow has long been an unapologetic speeder, as witnessed during a 1999 speech to the Legislature.

"Bill Janklow speeds when he drives -- shouldn't, but he does," Janklow said then. "When he gets the ticket he pays it, but if someone told me I was going to jail for two days for speeding, my driving habits would change."

In one notorious instance, two reporters were riding with Janklow when he made a 99-mph mad dash, through heavy smoke, down a mountain highway in the Black Hills to escape a raging forest fire in 2002. Janklow had tried to go faster, but the computer in his sport utility vehicle kept the engine from going past 99 mph.

Janklow received 12 speeding tickets from 1990 to October 1994. He was elected to a third term as governor a month later and never received another ticket in the state.

The jury was not allowed to hear about the tickets, but the prosecution was granted permission to present evidence of a close call at the same intersection where Scott died.

Jennifer Walters said a speeding white Cadillac ran the stop sign and missed their pickup by mere feet last December. She called 911 to report it and Moody County Deputy Sheriff Tony Aas said that about 10 minutes later he stopped the Cadillac. Janklow was the driver and he was doing 92 mph, though the officer locked his radar on at 86, he testified.

Walters said she did not pursue charges against Janklow because he was governor at the time. On the stand, Janklow denied running the stop sign.

Janklow also said he has wished "a thousand times" that he would have eaten on Aug. 16. He told the prosecutor he does speed when he drives and he has run stop signs but that he would not speed through a blind intersection on purpose.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
 

Yogurt

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#3
Originally posted by Senior KX Rider
Janklow received 12 speeding tickets from 1990 to October 1994. He was elected to a third term as governor a month later and never received another ticket in the state.

The jury was not allowed to hear about the tickets, but the prosecution was granted permission to present evidence of a close call at the same intersection where Scott died.

Jennifer Walters said a speeding white Cadillac ran the stop sign and missed their pickup by mere feet last December. She called 911 to report it and Moody County Deputy Sheriff Tony Aas said that about 10 minutes later he stopped the Cadillac. Janklow was the driver and he was doing 92 mph, though the officer locked his radar on at 86, he testified.
It's that reason right there, and these kind of people that me nervous to ride a street motorcycle. I too and glad to see the system has worked in the favor of a motorcylist.
 

HiG4s

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#4
If the police would give tickets to everyone equally when they broke motor vehicle codes it wouldn't have come to this. Janklow would have lost his license years ago. Then again, so would half the police force.
 

JuliusPleaser

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#5
Justice has been served in this case. I hope they throw the book at him.
 

BSWIFT

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#6
The real justice will be seen Jan. 20th.&nbsp; I heard the story on the news this evening and remembered it being discussed here on DRN.&nbsp; I'm not surprised by the verdict but I'm afraid that the punishment will be quite lame.&nbsp;&nbsp; Indeed, this man has served his state while blatantly disobeying the law he was sworn to uphold but therein lies the paradox.&nbsp;
In Oklahoma, a state legislator cannot be delayed or detained while traveling TO an official meeting @ the state capital.&nbsp; These legislators are issued special license plates to signify they are state reps.&nbsp; When law enforcement encounter these elected officials traveling 30 mph over the speed limit, they let them go.&nbsp; Several have been stopped and CHARGED with Driving Under the Infulence and the cases were scuttled.&nbsp;

I hope that this former governor will receive appropriate sentancing.&nbsp;
 

dirty~d~

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#7
After reading this I feel a little better about 'the system'.

Hey jury... :thumb:. Good job!!
 

Jon K.

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#8
Probably I should know this, but why would Janklow's prior driving record be dis-allowed at the trial?
 

Smit-Dog

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#9
At 18 I lost my license for 1 year because I had 4 speeding tickets. Had to sell my car and motorcycle to pay for an apartment closer to work and school. Either walked or rode a bicycle 6 miles to work. I had to punch in at 6:30am. On really snowy days I was lucky to hitch a ride from a co-worker. Life sucked pretty bad for a year.

Can't say that I never received another speeding ticket, but not having a license for a year slowed me down.

Too bad Janklow didn't get slammed for the 12 speeding tickets when he should have. Maybe that motorcyclist would still be alive today.

:|
 

Senior KX Rider

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#10
caught this at Matt Drudges website

U.S. Rep. Janklow Resigns After Conviction


Email this story

Dec 8, 8:58 PM (ET)

FLANDREAU, S.D. (Reuters) - U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow resigned from Congress on Monday following his conviction for manslaughter, stemming from an automobile accident in which he killed a motorcycle rider in a collision, his office said.
Janklow submitted his resignation to House Speaker Dennis Hastert within hours of his conviction following a week-long trial in a South Dakota courtroom.
 

Neil Wig

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#11
Good. He's being more ethical than he was when he purjured himself in his testemony. That lame ass, medical excuse (diabetes) he was running was pure BS.

I'll hold off my cheering until I see if the sentence is taylored to match the crime, or the criminal.

Any officers want to debate HiG4s comment???? I watched a city cop go shooting through a school zone last week, at 12:45 PM, thru traffic, without his lights on. I've played on rec. sports teams with several "law officers" who drink and drive more than ANYONE I know (and have been stopped in that condition). The point is this, when you are elected or hired to enforce and uphold the laws of the land, you should be held fully accountable when you break those laws. There shouldn't be any special treatment because they are polititions/law enforcement, or their wives/children/mistresses/GF/Golfing Partner/etc.
 

dirt bike dave

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#12
Originally posted by Neil Wig
Good. He's being more ethical than he was when he purjured himself in his testemony. That lame ass, medical excuse (diabetes) he was running was pure BS.&nbsp;
I agree.&nbsp; I also heard today that shortly after the accident Janklow blamed the crash on a mysterious &nbsp;'white vehicle' that proved to be non-existent.&nbsp; Guess the diabetes not only makes you drive bad and lose your memory, it also causes you to make up stuff when talking to the cops :silly: .&nbsp;

And for Daschle claiming Janklow is a very truthful man :laugh:&nbsp; Well, maybe he still is&nbsp;compared to Tom Daschle.&nbsp;

Clearly Daschle was brought in as a 'character' witness and to dazzle the jury.&nbsp; Because&nbsp;Senator Daschle says that he didn't see Janklow eat, the jury is supposed to think that is proof&nbsp;that Janklow did not&nbsp;eat?&nbsp; I didn't realize Senator Daschle was Janklow's own personal&nbsp;calorie counter.&nbsp;IMO, that's a pretty weak defense.
 

Smit-Dog

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#13
Don't be too quick to totally dismiss the affects of a diabetic blackout. I agree that it was a weak defense, but it doesn't mean the condition doesn't exist.
 

Jon K.

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#14
Originally posted by Neil Wig


I'll hold off my cheering until I see if the sentence is taylored to match the crime, or the criminal.
My prediction. Two year sentence (suspended) and a few hundred hours of community service. Maybe a fine, but he's probably got plenty of money.

If he serves any jail time I will be very surprised..
 
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Smit-Dog

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#15
Take away his privilege to drive a car, and allow him to only ride motorcycles for a year. I'd bet that'd raise his awareness a few notches...