A Republican-dominated panel of South Dakota lawmakers recommended several changes to the medical cannabis legalization measure that voters passed in 2020, including giving local governments the ability to ban MMJ companies entirely and eliminating home-cultivation rights. Continue reading “South Dakota legislators seek to make changes to medical cannabis law”
South Dakota required citizens to submit petitions for statewide initiated laws a full year before the general election… until this afternoon, when United States District Court Judge Charles Kornmann declared that deadline unconstitutionally restrictive on First Amendment rights. South Dakota law used to give sponsors until the first Tuesday in May to submit petitions for initiated laws, before the Legislature started taking that time away. Today’s ruling thus gives us back six months of legal petition time.
However, today’s beating was not total! Judge Kornmann applies his ruling strictly to initiated laws, not initiated constitutional amendments. Judge Kornmann says constitutional amendments warrant more scrutiny, and the one year petition deadline for initiated amendments is part of both statute and the constitution itself (Article 23, Section 1). So all you folks out there circulating petitions for constitutional amendments to expand Medicaid, establish independent redistricting, and run top-two primaries, well, I apologize—I couldn’t win you a later deadline. Your petitions are still due on November 8.
Read the full story at the Dakota Free Press.
Prosecutions and federal felony cases matters, many – if not most – arrests do not end up as a criminal conviction with formal sentencing after a full trial before a judge or jury, but instead are resolved out of the courtroom in what is called “plea bargaining.” This involves attorneys representing both the government and the accused entering into negotiations without formal hearings or judicial input. Continue reading “Plea bargaining and making deals in federal felony cases”
More than half a century since they were modernized, hate crime laws in the U.S. are inconsistent and provide incomplete methods for addressing bias-motivated violence, according to a new report by advocates for better protections. Continue reading “Hate crime laws lack uniformity across the US”
A series of juvenile justice reforms enacted in South Dakota over the past decade have kept more low-level minor offenders out of detention centers and away from criminal activity that could land them in the adult system, according to state officials. Continue reading “Justice reforms working, but not as well for minor offenders in SD”
Turns out the Legislature’s medical-marijuana subcommittee that met Wednesday to look over proposed rules for South Dakota’s new program also has three sets of its members working privately, outside the public’s view, on potential changes to Initiated Measure 26 that nearly 70% of voters passed in the 2020 election. Continue reading “S.D. lawmakers might change medical-marijauna laws”
As the residents of South Dakota wait for the state Supreme Court’s decision on the legal status of pot penalties, local law enforcement agencies are left to field the question. ‘Is the personal use of marijuana legal?’
The prison, which opened in 1881, is rarely a happy place. It’s where scores of men serve sentences for crimes and a few await the end of their life in a state-sanctioned execution. Continue reading “Prison scandal offers opportunity for real change”
Tracing cell phone pings helped South Dakota law enforcement find the victim in Sunday’s abduction that started in Brookings and ended in Sioux Falls. Cell phone data is an important tool of technology in finding people who are in danger. Continue reading “The importance of ‘pings’ to South Dakota law enforcement”