South Dakota justice

The Minnehaha County Courthouse in Sioux Falls, SD, pictured on Nov. 1, 2022.

Prosecutors win judgeships in two state court circuits

BY: - November 9, 2022

The longtime Lawrence County State’s Attorney will ride out the twilight of his legal career on the bench in South Dakota’s Fourth Judicial Circuit. John H. Fitzgerald, 67, bested four other candidates Tuesday for the single open seat in the circuit – the largest slate of candidates for a single judgeship since the 1972 election. […]

The Lincoln County Courthouse in Canton, SD, as seen on Oct. 28, 2022.

Circuit court bench in SD struggles to diversify

BY: - November 1, 2022

Just under half the people in state prisons in South Dakota are people of color, but none of the judges who sent them there are.  The general election on Nov. 8 won’t change that. Circuit judges in South Dakota, who preside over the felony criminal cases that can send a defendant to prison, come up […]

Candidates for a circuit court judgeship in South Dakota's Fourth District, from left: Jennifer Tomac, John H. Fitzgerald, Tina Hogue, Chad Callahan, David Natvig.

Five aim to fill West River judicial post Nov. 8

BY: - November 1, 2022

Contested circuit judge elections are a rarity in South Dakota. Just one sitting judge, Robert Spears in central South Dakota’s Third Circuit, faces a challenge this year. Another open seat in the Sioux Falls area has two candidates. The Fourth Circuit, however, will make history on Nov. 8, when voters will choose from five judicial […]