Janklow’s Probation Ends Monday

It was 3 years ago and the story of Bill Janklow, at that time Governor of South Dakota, was a very hot topic in the motorcycle industry. In 2003 Janklow sped through a stop sign and the Cadillac he was driving hit a Harley-Davidson ridden by Randy Scott of Hardwick, Minnesota. The accident killed the motorcyclist and ended his political career. Janklow had long been an unapologetic speeder; in a 1999 speech to the state legislature, he said, "Bill Janklow speeds when he drives — shouldn’t, but he does. When he gets the ticket he pays it." It was a big surprise to many, bikers and non bikers that Bill Janklow had to serve only 100 days in jail, had to pay a small fine of $5,000 and only temporarily had to surrender his law license. He just completed 3 years of probation during which he was forbidden from driving. Now he can drive again…


4 Responses to “Janklow’s Probation Ends Monday”

  1. 1 Phil B. Jan 24th, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    Does this come as a surprise to anyone? Everyone in this country should know by now that people in political office are treated differently than the common citizenry. This was an accident that could have happened to anyone in a car or on a bike no matter what the speed. If it were a “commoner” they would have gotten the book thrown at them, but do to position this did not happen in this case. If anyone should get the book thrown at them it is the man that has studied the law, knows it and works at it. We all know that the law is blind, how else would the statue be expected to see any thing with the blindfold that she wears? What better example of blind justice than this?

  2. 2 rodent Jan 25th, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    And this bum is in the Sturgis Hall of Fame…Ya think he’ll get a Presidential pardon?

  3. 3 Joe Mielke Jan 26th, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    These types of events never end well. When it happens to a biker we (the motorcycle community) are out for blood. These events don’t get sensationalized as much when it is car on car or when the average Joe commits the crime. It is dealt with in the court system some times they get what’s coming to them and other times they walk.

    We all know someone or know of someone who is that irresponsible idiot driver with 6 or 10 or even 20 DWIs that some how manages to stay “free” and are still getting behind the wheel. Then there are the habitual law breakers who should have their privilege to drive taken away for life like many think Janklow should have. I tend to agree.

    The worst thing about Janklow is that he is just a shady character who knows the law and has done things that many believe cross both legal and moral lines. I worked for the state of South Dakota for several years. For a most of my time I was under the SD Attorney Generals office. Under Janklow’s direct control, and I had a few occasions to have face to face meetings with him. All I can I say about him, like many South Dakotans, I never liked the man. But some people are blind to truth and believe everything the media and government tells them and that is all they know.

    Without getting into a debate, When it’s Bill Janklow, Billy Lane or your next door neighbor it is never a good situation. Humans are fallible and sometimes make poor decisions that can end badly with consequences that last the rest of their life.

    I’m no different, when I was younger and got myself into legal trouble. When my father asked me “How did this happen?” I told him “I made a mistake.” He then told me “No you didn’t make a mistake, you know right from wrong, no mistake. You made a choice and your choice has consequences.” He told me “You need to be honest and take responsibility for your actions.”

    Now I didn’t kill anyone mind you but I did choose to get behind the wheel of a car when I was intoxicated and was arrested. My father was by my side in court the day I was scheduled to appear. When the judge called my name and I stood in front of him he asked me how I plead to the charges against me. With my father’s words in my mind I told him, “I am guilty and I am prepared to accept what ever punishment you see fit.” Why? Because I was, end of story. With that door wide open the first thing he told me was that he respected my honesty and then laid my punishment on me.

    I paid my debt to society and my life went on with a lesson learned the hard way. Fortunately the only thing hurt was my pride and honor. Now I am not special because I took responsibility for my actions, people do it every day. Unfortunately people like Janklow don’t, they are too use to getting their way and letting other people clean up their messes.

    That is the root of the problem. The fact that the system is full of crooks sometimes on both sides of the law clouding the truth does not help either. Where does that leave us? I don’t know.

    I fail, you fail, we all fail, we are human. What we do afterwards is the true test of our character.

    My buck O’5

    Big Joe
    Mitchell SD

  4. 4 sandie Jan 26th, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    Big Joe, I so agree with all you wrote. Such a good comment. If I were a teacher grading your paper, I would give you a A !!!

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