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Finally someone gets what they deserve for killing a rider.

Heres the full story:



FLANDREAU, S.D. (Dec. 8) - Rep. Bill Janklow, a dominating figure in South Dakota politics for nearly 30 years, was convicted of manslaughter Monday for speeding through a stop sign at a rural intersection and colliding with a motorcyclist. Janklow quickly announced that he will resign from Congress.

''I wish to inform you that because of present circumstances, I will be unable to perform the duties incumbent on me in representing the people of South Dakota as their U.S. representative,'' the Republican wrote in a letter that he said was to be sent to House Speaker Dennis Hastert on Tuesday.

''Therefore I wish to inform you that I will resign from the House of Representatives, effective January 20, 2004.''

That is the same date Janklow is scheduled to be sentenced. He could get up to 10 years in prison.

Earlier Monday, a jury in the congressman's boyhood hometown convicted Janklow of second-degree manslaughter, reckless driving, running a stop sign and speeding for the Aug. 16 crash that killed Randy Scott, 55, a farmer from Hardwick, Minn. Prosecutors said Janklow was traveling more than 70 mph in a white Cadillac when he crashed with Scott's Harley-Davidson.

''The state of South Dakota brought charges against a man we believed to be responsible for Randy's death,'' the victim's mother, Marcella Scott, said in a statement. ''We are satisfied that the correct verdict was reached.''

Janklow, 64, appeared stunned as the verdict was read. He walked steadily out of the courtroom, got in a vehicle driven by his son and left the courthouse. He refused to respond to questions shouted by a horde of reporters.

Jurors also left the courthouse without talking to reporters, and both prosecutor Bill Ellingson and defense attorney Ed Evans refused comment.

The resignation all but ends the political career of a man who has wielded enormous power in South Dakota for nearly 30 years.

Janklow was the state attorney general for four years in the 1970s before serving 16 years as governor and being elected to the state's lone House seat last year. During his four terms as governor, Janklow won over legions of voters in heavily conservative South Dakota with his tough-talking, maverick style.

A special election will be held during South Dakota's June 1 primary to fill the remainder of Janklow's term, giving Democrats an early chance to pick up a seat in the narrowly divided House. Janklow would have been up for re-election next November.

Democrat Stephanie Herseth, who lost to Janklow in 2002, has said she intends to run for the House again. Republican John Thune, who formerly held the seat, has not indicated whether he will run for anything in 2004. He has been mentioned as a possible challenger to Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, but some Republicans want Thune to run for the House instead because they believe he stands a better chance against Herseth.

Janklow's trial created a scenario that once would have seemed unthinkable in this rural state: a congressman on trial for manslaughter in the farming community where he grew up.

The trial began Dec. 1 with a jury-selection process that revealed Janklow's widespread popularity in Flandreau, a town of about 2,000 people. Several jury candidates knew Janklow and his family, including one who shook hands with the former governor as he left the courtroom.
Once a panel was chosen, jurors witnessed several emotional images during five days of testimony, including Janklow in tears as he described his grief over the crash. A man who was riding motorcycles with Scott cried as he recalled finding the victim's mangled body in a soybean field. Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, himself a pillar of South Dakota politics, also took the stand.

The defense argued that Janklow, a diabetic, was suffering the effects of low blood sugar at the time of the crash because he had not eaten for 18 hours. Medical experts told prosecutors it is unusual for anyone to go that long without food - and highly dangerous for a diabetic who takes insulin.

But deputy prosecutor Roger Ellyson called the diabetes defense ''goofy,'' saying Janklow concocted the defense as an excuse for his reckless driving.

Ellyson called Janklow an ''unbelievably awful and menacing'' driver.

''The defendant's driving is like a deadly game of Russian roulette,'' Ellyson said in closing arguments. ''On August 16, Randy Scott took the bullet.''

''He couldn't say, 'I was driving so fast I couldn't stop.' Or he couldn't say, 'I always ignore these rural stop signs.' That would be admitting to manslaughter. He knows the trouble he's in,'' Ellyson said.

The defense said that Janklow took heart medication on the day of the crash that can mask the symptoms of a diabetic reaction. That is why Janklow did not feel his blood sugar drop before the accident, the defense contended.

Several witnesses said they did not see Janklow eat or drink anything that day, including Daschle, who called the congressman ''a very truthful person.''

Janklow has long been an unapologetic speeder, as witnessed during a 1999 speech to the Legislature.

''Bill Janklow speeds when he drives - shouldn't, but he does,'' Janklow said then. ''When he gets the ticket he pays it, but if someone told me I was going to jail for two days for speeding, my driving habits would change.''

In one notorious instance, two reporters were riding with Janklow when he made a 99-mph mad dash, through heavy smoke, down a mountain highway in the Black Hills to escape a raging forest fire in 2002. Janklow had tried to go faster, but the computer in his sport utility vehicle kept the engine from going past 99 mph.

Janklow received 12 speeding tickets from 1990 to October 1994. He was elected to a third term as governor a month later and never received another ticket in the state.

The jury was not allowed to hear about the tickets, but the prosecution was granted permission to present evidence of a close call at the same intersection where Scott died.

Janklow also said he has wished ''a thousand times'' that he would have eaten on Aug. 16. He told the prosecutor he does speed when he drives and he has run stop signs but that he would not speed through a blind intersection on purpose.
 

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ahem....although the rider will never be back, and a family lost a loved one, I feel like justice was served to Mr. Janklow
 

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Originally posted by DEZixxer
ahem....although the rider will never be back, and a family lost a loved one, I feel like justice was served to Mr. Janklow
Depends on the sentence. He could still get off with 10 hours of community service. There's a difference between being found guilty of something, and actualy paying for it.
 

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Would have been different if the guy riding was 25 years old and on a sportbike. Put my life on that!!!
 

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Poor family, we need a technology that can swap the people around so that the dickheads that use the "OH Bugger me I forgot to eat sorry about your dad kids" excuse are the ones to pay rather then the biker who more likey then not was obeying the law. [}:)]:(
 

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should put his @ss on a bike and hit him with a car. if he survives then let him live his life know what happens,... if he dies oh f'in well another job openning!!!
 

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Originally posted by -gary
Depends on the sentence. He could still get off with 10 hours of community service. There's a difference between being found guilty of something, and actualy paying for it.
So true, well lets hope he gets what's coming to him, I would hate to see him get off easy.
 

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everyone here knows that if one of us did that we would be in jail a min of 20yrs then probation the rest of our lives so why does this bastard get off?? cause i'm congressman, [email protected] that. i stick to my guns ...put his @ss on the bike and i'll drive the car!!!!!!!!!
 
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