The minimum security center of the South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls, pictured on Feb. 16, 2023. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

Noem issues 40 more pardons since April

BY: - November 3, 2023

Gov. Kristi Noem has issued 40 pardons since April, according to records on file with the Secretary of State’s Office. The pardons bring the total number issued by Gov. Noem since the start of her first term to 268. The Board of Pardons and Paroles offers recommendations on pardons to the governor, but South Dakota’s […]

The G. Norton Jameson Annex at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

Power of mercy: Noem decisions highlight outsized importance of pardons in South Dakota

BY: - April 7, 2023

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story about pardons is part of a special report on executive clemency. An additional story explores commutations, and a commentary outlines difficulties encountered in obtaining pardon records. — A father from Fort Pierre with five drunken driving convictions and more than a decade of sobriety wants to take his son hunting. A […]

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks to supporters on Nov. 7, 2022, in Rapid City. (Kevin Eilbeck for South Dakota Searchlight)

Noem goes against board, victims’ families and review process to reduce prison sentences

BY: - December 30, 2022

When Gov. Kristi Noem reduced seven prisoners’ sentences recently, she overruled the Board of Pardons and Paroles in one case, went against some victims’ family members she hadn’t contacted, and may have violated her own executive order. The governor issued the sentence reductions, called “commutations,” on Christmas Eve. A news release said all seven people […]