Republican Ex-Congressman of South Dakota William Janklow has been sentenced for second-degree manslaughter, reckless driving, speeding and failure to stop at a stop sign; actions that resulted in the death of motorcyclist Randy Scott.
He recieved 100 days in jail, and after 30 days will begin a daytime work release program allowing him to be out of the facility for up to ten hours a day. He will be on probation for 3 years, and will not be allowed to drive during this time. Judge Rodney Steele gave Janklow a suspended prison sentence, allowing the case to be dismissed after the second-degree manslaughter probation period, erasing the felony conviction from his record.
In South Dakota
...40 people have been found guilty of second-degree manslaughter since 1989, and 32 of them were sent to prison or jail. The average jail term was six months; the average prison term nearly seven years. About half of the convictions involved traffic accidents.
In sentencing the Judge considers the whole of Janklow's record, more than his 12 speeding tickets from '90 to '94, his near miss at the same stopsign a year ealier- the ex congressman has a past with allegations of rape of a child under his guardianship and more.
Brandee Scott, the daughter of the man Janklow killed said "Yes" when asked if she was satisfied with the sentence.
Others have pointed out the absurdity of it.
A person could go out and smoke a joint in this state and get more time than that, and nobody ends up dead"
Russ Knutson, of Magnolia, Minn., was a close friend of Scott's. He said outside the courtroom that he supports the length of the jail sentence but is disappointed the felony would be wiped off Janklow's record if he successfully completes three years of probation.
"In three years he can get his driver's license back. With the record he has, he should never get it back."
Janklow will begin serving his sentence February 7.
Incarceration is not an equal oppurtunity punishment. (Please visit that incredibly informative link) People such as Mr Janklow and Rush Limbaugh who advocate harsh sentencing should be afforded the chance to experience it firsthand. As you learn about the state of incarceration in America I think you'll see that there are well too many people becoming fodder for the prison industrial complex.