Release: Attorney General Jackley’s 2017 Legislative Package

Attorney General Jackley’s 2017 Legislative  Package 

PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Marty Jackley announces that the Attorney General’s proposed legislative package for 2017 will include a request that our Legislature consider and enact the following:

1.    Prohibiting and criminalizing direct conflicts of interests and self-dealings resulting in personal financial benefit from taxpayer monies

Under current South Dakota law, it is only a misdemeanor to engage in self-dealings of taxpayer monies for personal benefit or gain.  See SDCL 5-18A-17.4.

“A public official, who misappropriates taxpayer monies that have been entrusted to them, violates the public trust and should be held responsible for such actions.   When   a public official uses taxpayer monies for personal benefit or gain, it should be treated  as any other criminal theft,” said  Jackley.

The Attorney General’s proposed legislation narrowly defines a direct criminal conflict of interest to occur when “any public official who knowingly misappropriates funds or property which has been entrusted to the public official in violation of the public trust and which results in a direct financial benefit to the public official, commits a criminal conflict of interest.” A public official who commits a criminal conflict of interest would be guilty of theft under existing law. Under current theft law it is a Class 6 felony carrying a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment when the value of the theft is in excess of $1,000, a Class 5 felony, punishable up to five years, when the value is more than $2,500 but less than or equal to $5,000, and a Class 4 felony, punishable up to 10 years, if the value is more than $5,000. The bill also requests employee whistleblower protections.

Legislation being introduced by others will require notice to the Attorney General of conflict violations.

2.   Releasing of booking photographs to the public

Under current South Dakota law, it is a criminal misdemeanor to release booking photos to the public.

“The release of criminal booking photographs to the public will result in greater transparency in the criminal process and will further assist the media and the public   in the proper identification of individuals in the criminal process,” said Jackley.

Routine criminal booking photographs would be defined as a public record under South Dakota law.    The statutes would not require a law enforcement agency to reproduce a criminal booking photograph older than six months. Furthermore, an agency requested to provide or reproduce a criminal booking photograph would be entitled to recover reasonable retrieval and reproduction costs.

3.   Expanding the 24/7 Sobriety Program to include mobile alcohol testing devices

South Dakota’s 24/7 Sobriety Program is a voluntary offender-pay program that allows individuals to address their alcohol and drug addiction while protecting the public with constant  monitoring.

“South Dakota’s 24/7 Alcohol Sobriety Program has helped over 62,582 South Dakotans address their addiction. The offender-pay program has been an effective alternative to incarceration allowing individuals with alcohol and drug addiction to remain employed and with their families while ensuring sobriety through intensive monitoring. To include mobile breath alcohol testing devices to our current technology would further assist law enforcement and participants to more easily and successfully complete the program,” said Jackley.

The current method used in the 24/7 program includes twice-a-day preliminary breath testing, electronic monitoring bracelets, ignition interlock, urinalysis, and drug testing patches. The Attorney General is requesting that the Legislature expand the testing methods to include the use of mobile breath alcohol testing devices at the discretion of the sheriffs and courts.

4.    Improving the State Automated Victim Notification System (SAVIN) 

“Serving victims of crime should remain a top priority in our state. South Dakota’s victim notification system helps inform and protect victims by making offender information readily available, and further fosters transparency within criminal proceedings by making public information more accessible,” said  Jackley.

In August 2016, the Attorney General rolled out the State Automated Victim Information and Notification System (SAVIN), creating a free automated service that provides crime victims with vital information and notification 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The proposed legislation makes the automated system more efficient by   allowing participants to register directly with the system if they choose, and allows  more notifications to come from the system instead of through other redundant agency information.

5.    Addressing presumptive probation concerns 

“Individuals that commit violent crimes and significant harm to victims should not automatically receive a presumption for a probationary sentence. More serious offenses justify having all the circumstances considered when balancing the need for incarceration with opportunities for rehabilitation. Promoting prostitution of a minor is one such serious offense that should not result in an automatic presumption of probation,” said Jackley.

As a part of the 2013 Criminal Justice Initiative, the Legislature enacted a presumptive sentence of probation for many Class 5 or 6 felonies.

Based upon numerous Supreme Court challenges and concerns related to the use of presumptive probation and aggravating circumstances, the Attorney General requested the Smart on Crime Task Force to review three areas of concern:

  1. The parole and probation grids with an interest toward ensuring swift and certain punishment for violations in order to protect the public;
  1. The presumptive probation for Class 5 and 6 felonies should be modified to provide more discretion to our Judges for the more serious crimes;  and
  1. Explore opportunities to provide funding to local governments that are experiencing cost-increases as a result of the legislation by evaluating any cost-savings to the state attributable to SB

Consistent with the Smart on Crime Task Force recommendations on presumptive probation, the Attorney General is proposing legislation to remove certain violent and other serious crimes from presumptive  probation.

6. Strengthening vehicular homicide sentences 

“While it is difficult to place a value on the loss of a human life, serving only a 4½ year sentence for the brutal vehicular homicide of another human being should carry with    it more significance and deterrent value to better protect the public.  Vehicular  homicide is a violent crime and should be considered as such for purposes of parole calculations,” said Jackley.

On July 8, 2013, Ronald Fischer drove recklessly, impaired, and at high rates of speed through a Pickstown parking lot, killing 25 year old Maegen Spindler and 46 year-old Dr. Robert Klumb. Fischer was tried and convicted for two counts of vehicular homicide for his two victims.  Because vehicular homicide is a Class 3 felony, the  judge was only able to impose a sentence of 15 years for each conviction, the  maximum allowed by law. Furthermore, because vehicular homicide is not statutorily defined as a “crime of violence,” Mr. Fischer may well only serve approximately nine total years for the deaths of his two  victims.

On April 26, 2016, another tragic vehicle crash again occurred in Charles Mix County, taking the life of a 22-year old. Albert Fischer has been indicted for and pled not guilty to vehicular homicide. His case is still pending.

Vehicular homicide convictions over the past five years in South Dakota include: 2 in 2016 (6 charged in various stages of proceedings), 4 in 2015, 4 in 2014, 8 in 2013, 4 in 2012 and 5 in 2011.


12 thoughts on “Release: Attorney General Jackley’s 2017 Legislative Package”

  1. I expected a lot more from someone who is running for governor. He still gets my vote. I don’t want his opponent.

  2. Two comments:

    1). Not sure what more you expect but right now he is the AG. I don’t expect him to propose issues outside his purview.

    2). The constant personal slams of Jackley out of context, unrelated to the thread in many cases, and of no substance is really getting old. If relevant, if one has a beef with a particular thing he has done as AG, is doing as AG, or proposes to do as AG, he should account for it in the public square.

    1. EB5 no convictions.
      Gear Up no convictions.
      The conflict between Marty writing ballot measure opinions and his campaign manager running Marsy’s Law campaign.
      Jeromy Pankratz getting paid $81,000 as a state employee and working on Jackley’s campaign.

      These issues are all relevant.

      1. I agree these are relevant issues that Jackley needs to address if he expects to win. Noem is going to show AG Jackley what a real campaign looks like. She’s going to be tough on his inability to get things done.

  3. #6 on his list should include if a US House of Reps member runs over a biker he will spend no more than 100 days in jail. I know Jackley was not AG at that time but it just goes to show the problem with crony capitalism and corruption in South Dakota

  4. Using Jeromy Pankratz, who is Jackley’s state employee, and is listed as the person to RSVP to for Jackley’s campaign fundraisers would probably be in violation of his first bill. Paying a state employee to also work on his campaign would be a misappropriation of state funds.

    1. How do we know that Pankratz isn’t paid part-time by the state? Do we have evidence that his work agreement is for 40 hours/week in the AG’s office?

  5. This is why Matt Michels needs to run. He has the experience needed without all the baggage that Marty has accumulated. I like Marty but he can’t win.

  6. How can he hold a press conference on anti corruption with his dirty laundry list of the issues listed above?

  7. SB 24, part of AG Jackley’s 2017 legislative package, a bill to classify Vehicular Homicide as “a crime of violence” was approved in the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 19, with a vote of 6 yea and 1 nay.

    On January 23, the full Senate voted down SB 24 with a vote of 16 yea and 19 nay, with bipartisan support against it.

    Governor Daugaard opposed the bill. Apparently he feels that the criminal act of intentionally getting in a car and driving drunk does not constitute a criminal mind. And killing another human being is just an accident or bad luck.. Even though he’s a lame duck he can still peck hard, apparently.

    So drunk drivers that disembowel innocents, as happened to my daughter, can rest well, knowing that with “presumed parole”, they only have to serve 30% of their sentence. Ronald Fischer will serve 4.5 years for killing my daughter.

    Another Fischer clan member was indicted on Vehicular Homicide charge last year in Charles Mix County. Some things never change…

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