Justice

Kimberlee Browne watches as metal is sheared off the top of a metal block at Lake Area Technical College's precision machining lab in Watertown on Jan. 20, 2023. Through a new training program, Brown earned a certificate in machining while she was incarcerated at the Women's Prison. (J.T. Fey/for South Dakota Searchlight)

From prison to a payroll: Program trains inmates as machinists

BY: - January 27, 2023

Kimberlee Browne thought she’d die on the streets. The 40-year-old mother of six and former educator has been in and out of the South Dakota prison system twice since 2012. Each time she was released, something would happen to make her lose her confidence and faith; she’d fall back into bad habits and be arrested, […]

An aerial view of the American flags flying over an international bridge as immigrants line up next to the U.S.-Mexico border fence to seek asylum on December 22, 2022 in El Paso, Texas. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Democrats in Congress condemn Biden administration expansion of Title 42

BY: - January 26, 2023

WASHINGTON — Nearly 80 Democratic members of Congress sent a letter to the White House expressing their “great concern” that the Biden administration is walking back on its promise to restore migrants’ access to asylum. In the letter, they also condemned the administration’s expansion of a controversial policy that immediately turns away migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, […]

Bill legalizing fentanyl testing strips passes House committee

BY: - January 25, 2023

A bill that would decriminalize fentanyl test strips in South Dakota passed the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday with a 11-2 vote. Fentanyl test strips are small bits of paper that can detect the presence of the synthetic opioid, which is sometimes laced with other drugs and has a high mortality rate. Under current law, the […]

Crews push their way through a massive snowdrift plugging an overpass on Interstate 90 near Kadoka. (Courtesy of State of South Dakota Highway Crew)

Risky rescues have state pondering approach to drivers who ignore road closures

BY: - January 25, 2023

PIERRE – Hundreds of motorists drove around Interstate blockades or ventured onto snowed-over highways during a two-week storm event late last year, diverting the energies of emergency responders to rescues that sometimes put those responders at risk.  That’s not uncommon during winter storms, according to Sec. Craig Price of the Department of Public Safety (DPS). […]

A person climbs the stairs of the South Dakota Capitol. (Joshua Haiar/SD Searchlight)

Panel backs proposal to require law enforcement to inform schools of suspected criminal activity by students

BY: - January 24, 2023

A Senate panel endorsed a bill that would require law enforcement to inform school officials when a student is suspected of violating the law. Current law says officers “may” report their suspicions to school officials. Opponents and several members of the juvenile justice summer study committee said most school districts already communicate well with law […]

Some farmers have argued that their land shouldn't be subject to eminent domain for liquid carbon dioxide pipelines. (Photo by Jared Strong/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Judge set to decide whether pipeline trespassing case will proceed

BY: - January 20, 2023

There is no evidence a carbon dioxide pipeline surveyor accused of trespassing knew that he was not welcome to do the work on a Dickinson County, Iowa, farm, and the criminal charge against him should be dismissed, his attorney said this week. A district court judge is poised to decide whether the trespassing charge against Stephen James […]

The South Dakota Capitol building in Pierre. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Jackley: Hold abusers accountable for manipulation

BY: - January 19, 2023

Abusive partners could face a decade in prison for trying to convince their significant others to change their story, under a bill promoted by Attorney General Marty Jackley. Senate Bill 50 would apply the crime of witness tampering to anyone who “corruptly persuades or corruptly influences another person” to alter their testimony “with an intent […]

The South Dakota Capitol building in Pierre. (Seth Tupper/SD Searchlight)

Ex-candidate’s case helps spur election law proposal from attorney general

BY: - January 19, 2023

A nine-year-old case against a former U.S. Senate candidate paved the way for a legislative proposal that would make it a felony to lie about petition circulation. A jury convicted Dr. Annette Bosworth, a 2014 candidate on the Republican primary ballot for Senate, on a dozen felony counts of election law violations in 2015. Bosworth […]

Sen. Al Novstrup hears from Monica Meyer of Aberdeen during a gathering Jan. 18, 2023, at the Capitol where landowners and others pushed for tighter restrictions on eminent domain. (Joshua Haiar/SD Searchlight)

Landowners congregate in Capitol to push for tighter restrictions on eminent domain

BY: - January 18, 2023

PIERRE – Landowners and concerned citizens from around the state congregated Wednesday in the Capitol to advocate for protection from compulsory land acquisition, or eminent domain, and to support a bill limiting the practice. They criticized three projects planned in the state — two carbon capture pipelines and a pumped storage project — all of […]

Inside the state Capitol in Pierre. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Bill proposes task force to study new criminal justice approach for ‘emerging adults’

BY: - January 18, 2023

Young adults, ages 18 to 25, represent roughly 10% of South Dakota’s population but 25% of arrests, according to Greg Sattizahn, state court administrator with the Unified Judicial System. Those “emerging adults” are the most incarcerated group based on penitentiary numbers and are the most likely group of state prisoners to recidivate, or return to […]

President Joe Biden delivers remarks in the East Room of the White House on Feb. 24, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

White House defends delay in revealing classified documents at Biden private office, home

BY: - January 17, 2023

WASHINGTON — The White House on Tuesday defended sitting on information about Obama administration classified documents found at President Joe Biden’s private residence and a think tank, saying officials are attempting to balance working with the Justice Department and sharing information publicly.  “We understand that there’s a tension between the need to be cooperative with […]

The Senate chamber in the South Dakota Capitol. (Joshua Haiar/SD Searchlight)

Convicts could pay for cell phone searches under lawmaker proposal

BY: - January 17, 2023

People convicted of crimes based on evidence from their cell phones, tablets or computers may soon pay an additional fee to help fund the detectives who sifted through their digital lives. Senate Bill 54 would tack on up to $95 in fees for cases that hinge on digital investigations. During Tuesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, […]