That’s was quite the “unbiased” headline, before they changed it at the Argus Leader. They’ve changed it now, but in fact, it’s still there, if you look.
I guess I’m a little disappointed, as I was commenting as recently as this week on how I thought Jon Ellis was probably the fairest of the political reporters at the Gannett corporation’s state ad wrapper. But this piece seems unusually out of character, and reads more like a hit piece, because Ellis doesn’t like what crimes the Attorney General chooses to prosecute.
Last week, the state’s attorney general, Marty Jackley, walked up to the TV cameras, and with a steely gaze and tough-on-crime countenance, he delivered a shocking plot twist.
The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe had been victimized. By a couple of white guys. And Jackley, the state’s top-dog prosecutor, had the goods on them.
Jackley delivered yet another chapter in the Flandreau tribe’s marijuana story. It’s been a story marked by blundering and buffoonery. Of threats and authoritarian overreach. Of all-around jackassery.
And now Jackley was delivering the bad guys. Flanked by representatives of two of the state’s more incompetent local law enforcement agencies – I should add here they actually appeared sober – Jackley pinned the blame on a couple of marijuana executives from Colorado, where voters have ushered in a far more sensitive policy on marijuana.
Prosecutors are essential to enforcing the laws of a free society. But overzealous prosecutors can be a menace to a free society. Going into the 2018 governor’s contest, Jackley does not want to be known as Marty “Jackboots” Jackley.
Did I actually read a characterization regarding law enforcement officials in a county with one of South Dakota’s indian reservations with a heavy native american population, that “they actually appeared sober?” Wow. It might not have been intended that way, but that’s not how it comes off when you read it.
This article seems almost schizophrenic as it tries to portray Jackley as being “overzealous” on crimes that Ellis doesn’t like, but not tough enough on the ones he does. The piece scolds the attorney general for prosecuting broad crimes against the state, and scolds him for not addressing the violent street crime that seems to be happening on a more frequent basis in areas like Sioux Falls area. You know, damned if you do, but damned if you don’t.
I can’t help but wonder how the AG is supposed to prosecute or address those crimes – because the attorney general somehow has the ability to hire more police in the Sioux Falls area, or to tell the Minnehaha County State’s Attorney how to prosecute? Maybe it’s just me, but it seems to me that would be under the purview of the administration of the city of Sioux Falls to increase community policing. And would fall under the State’s Attorney how to handle his caseload. Not the AG.
In instances of local crime, to my knowledge, the local police and prosecutors have the resources of DCI, the state crime lab, and the AG at their disposal when it’s requested. It’s not their practice to see a crime, jump in and take over unbidden. Which makes that premise of the article even more of a misfire.
I’ve heard Marty comment more than once that it’s his job to be the best prosecutor, and best lawyer for the state he can be. And the politics will work itself out. In other words, politics are not a consideration when they make a decision what to and what not to prosecute. They’re just trying to do the best job they can.
Whether the Argus Leader likes it or not.