Above the Law? Maybe Not.
December 2, 2003 3:51 PM   Subscribe

Rep. Bill Janklow's Motorcycle Manslaugher Trial Continues
An excerpt, Janklow, a former four-term Republican governor of South Dakota, has pleaded not guilty to charges of speeding, failing to stop, reckless driving and second-degree manslaughter. Witnesses have said he didn't even slow down for the stop sign. First he lied about swerving to avoid a white car and then blamed low blood sugar for the lie.
Janklow has a long history of utter disregard for traffic laws but got off for years because he was the governor and then a congressman. More at Google News: Janklow
posted by fenriq (17 comments total)
Doh! Should that be ManslaughTer? Yep, damn!
posted by fenriq at 3:52 PM on December 2, 2003

lets build a bridge out of him
posted by Satapher at 4:07 PM on December 2, 2003

fenriq, I like your link to Google News specific to the topic. It is on point and handy, if a bit NewsFilter-ish.

I hope Janklow is put in jail and taken out of office. The man is obviously a menace to society, and is certainly does not deserve personal freedom, not to mention the right to lead others in public office. This man is a disgrace.
posted by gen at 4:31 PM on December 2, 2003

Maybe Janklow could argue he was driving to Washington? It worked for Bobby Byrd.
posted by PrinceValium at 5:10 PM on December 2, 2003

This clearly proves that the Republicans haven't quite managed to complete their takeover just yet. Even if Janklow somehow skates, at least he'll be a figure of ridicule.
posted by billsaysthis at 5:50 PM on December 2, 2003

I like the idiot riding with him, "Supporting the defense's view, Jenkins testified that Janklow's passenger, chief of staff Chris Braendlin, asked him for candy for his diabetic boss." (from the linked story).

He's driving ninety-two fucking miles an hour, in what they expect us to believe is nearly a borderline diabetic coma and all this clown has to say is, can my boss have some candy? Nevermind that dead guy, got a Mounds bar?

Of course there is no guarantee that his twelve prior speeding tickets will be admitted into the record. This guy is gonna walk -- the jury was drawn from a pool of 92 in a town with a population of 2,300. Add in his growing up there plus an aged and upstanding mother still living there, and it brings a whole new meaning to a jury of ones 'peers'.

If the prosecution was remotely serious about pursuing this, a change of venue would have been the first thing on the agenda. In Moody County, Janklow shits perfume scented tulips.
posted by cedar at 6:03 PM on December 2, 2003

You know, as much as we would like to see Janklow skinned alive for this, there is a possibility that he's a really shitty driver... Who happened to be in a dissociative state because of his diabetes (or some other ailment) at the time of this horrifying accident. It might be worthwhile to wait until all of the evidence is out.
posted by Dreama at 6:33 PM on December 2, 2003

In which case, Dreama, did he know he was such a shitty driver? And if he did, why did he choose to drive, instead of having himself driven?
posted by aeschenkarnos at 6:54 PM on December 2, 2003

Dreama: "Who happened to be in a dissociative state because of his diabetes"

Yeah, twelve times in the last ten years he was so dissociative he couldn't read a speedometer. Was he dissociative more than a year ago when he did the exact same thing:
"Jennifer Walters of Trent said that on Dec. 29, Janklow nearly hit her family's pickup when he ran a stop sign at the same intersection. She said she didn't press charges because he was governor at the time." [source: AP Wire]
Was he so dissociative that he hallucinated another car and was so confused that he was able to describe the nonexistant car to the police?

Anyway, if he's that sick, and that bad a driver, he was criminally negligent the second he sat down behind the wheel. I don't want him "skinned alive", I want him to pay the same penalty that any other person who flagrantly disregards the law and causes the death of an innocent pays.
posted by cedar at 6:55 PM on December 2, 2003

As a counterpoint to what gen said : 'more at Google News'? No shit!? I'd never have thought of that.

(Point being that it would be nice to show the community a modicum of respect by actually making some effort at finding interesting things to share.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:57 PM on December 2, 2003

This trial is such utter bullshit.
I wouldn't be at all surprised if a) he is acquitted and b) he doesn't resign.
posted by graventy at 8:25 PM on December 2, 2003

MetaFilter: More at Google News.
posted by homunculus at 9:32 PM on December 2, 2003

Janklow faced some serious charges in this book too ... he managed to have the book censored for eight years.
posted by Twang at 11:05 PM on December 2, 2003

It has always seemed to me that powerful people ought to be held to a higher standard than "regular" folk, sort of as a price to pay for their position.

...so guys like Janklow would be subject to double the normal penalty, or if doubling didn't make sense in the particular context, then they'd be subjected to the "next highest" penalty (instead of license suspension they'd get revocation. Instead of revocation they'd be jailed, etc.)
posted by aramaic at 11:10 PM on December 2, 2003

He should at least be required to use a motorcycle rather than a car for the rest of his life.
posted by mecran01 at 6:01 AM on December 3, 2003

Why do you hate america so much?
posted by spazzm at 8:21 AM on December 3, 2003

If Janklow is diabetic and was feeling woozy due to it AND had his CoS riding shotgun, WTF didn't he pull over and let the CoS drive? Probably to big a blow to his ego.

<homer's voice>Ooh look at me, I'm a big important politician and I want to drive drive drive!</homer's voice>
posted by billsaysthis at 2:38 PM on December 3, 2003

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