Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Thursday | August 21, 2003

Janklow in deep shit

Well, it's official.

U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow was driving between 70 and 75 mph when he ran a stop sign and collided with a motorcycle, killing the biker, according to an accident report released by the South Dakota Highway Patrol. The speed limit on the road is 55 mph.
If Janklow is considered to have been driving recklessly (which seems likely considering the evidence), he can face charges of second-degree manslaughter, with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and $10,000 fine.

No one seems to be asking yet whether Janklow will resign his House seat, but at this point, there's no doubt he should. And soon.

Update: To those who worry that we are being mean to Janklow by talking politics, there's this:

Metropolitan Police Department officer from the District of Columbia, said he has been hired by the congressman to gather information about the accident and the cyclist.

"Even if you run a stop sign and somebody is killed, there can be mitigating factors that help your defense," Wainscot said today as he conducted an inch-by-inch search of the crash scene, camera in hand. "My job is to find those factors."

Wainscot said he was also investigating the background of the cyclist, "to see if there might have been alcohol involved." The highway patrol report, released late today, said that neither man involved had been drinking.

"Investigating the background" literally means he's trying to find out of Scott had a history of alcohol abuse, or if he got drunk regularly. But despite the "blame the victim" efforts, it looks as though Scott is clean. Investigators said Scott was not intoxicated at the time of the accident. And he was a veteran and volunteer firefighter. His funeral drew over a thousands people. He was clearly beloved in his community. That'll haunt Janklow in both his criminal and civil trials. The juries will not be sympathetic.

Yet rather than express contrition, Janklow is attempting to dig up dirt on Scott. Sigh...

(And seriously, why is this PI talking to the press? Janklow's lawyers must be furious right now.)

Posted August 21, 2003 12:30 AM | Comments (148)


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