01-25-2004

04NR04 - Official Response to Janklow Sentence from ABATE of South Dakota

MRF E-MAIL NEWS
Motorcycle Riders Foundation
P.O. Box 1808
Washington, DC 20013-1808
202-546-0983 (voice)
202-546-0986 (fax)
http://www.mrf.org (website)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 25, 2004

#04NR04 - Official Response to Janklow Sentence from ABATE of South Dakota

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) has received the official response from ABATE of South Dakota regarding the Janklow sentence handed down late last week. The MRF applauds and continues to support ABATE of South Dakota for their knowledge of the legal process in South Dakota, their diligence in following this case, and their common sense approach in dealing with this tragedy.

The following is ABATE of South Dakota's official response:

"While we feel that the sentence awarded to Bill Janklow should have included more than 100 days of jail time, the officers and Board of Directors of ABATE of South Dakota find the sentence generally consistent with the laws and resulting penalties of the justice system of the State of South Dakota.

"In as much as in many states similar accidents result in no penalty at all or at the most a small fine, and in as much as the penalty awarded to Bill Janklow was stiffer than in many similar cases in South Dakota, we believe that the South Dakota justice system has clearly demonstrated that a person's political, social or economic stature has little bearing on the final outcome of such a case and that the final outcome was based on the circumstances and evidence surrounding this case.

"It is axiomatic that the jury system has fulfilled their duties with fairness and justice, as it is that the sentencing process is consistent with the laws of this state. Nevertheless, the Board of Directors of ABATE of South Dakota is currently deliberating on what the next step should be regarding the penalties in future cases.

"Many of the emails we have received clearly demonstrate that there are some that are very discontented with the sentence. Most of those emails are indicating that they intend to boycott South Dakota and the Sturgis Rally because of this. We find it quite unfair that these people would penalize the people of this state for something that they could not control, especially since many of the people that will be affected will be motorcyclists.

"The laws are what they are, and it is apparent that our laws and sentencing for similar cases are considerably more severe then they are in many other states. Granted, there is room for improvement, but boycotting South Dakota and the Sturgis Rally will not accomplish such changes but will only serve to hamper any progress we may hope to achieve."

Darrel Killion
State Coordinator
ABATE of South Dakota

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The first motorcyclists' rights organization to establish a full-time legislative advocacy presence in Washington. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation is the only Washington voice devoted exclusively to the street rider. MRF established MRFPAC in the early 1990s to advocate the election of candidates who would champion the cause of rider safety and rider freedom. MRF proudly claims state motorcyclists' rights organizations and the very founders of the American rider rights movement among its leading members. Motorcyclists worldwide can thumb-start their search for rider rights and safety on the web at www.mrf.org.

All information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction permitted with attribution. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation, incorporated in 1987, is an independent, membership-based national motorcyclists' rights organization headquartered in Washington D.C. which operates in co-partnership with State Motorcyclists' Rights Organizations nationwide. The MRF is involved in federal and state legislation and regulation, motorcycling safety education, training, licensing and public awareness. The MRF provides individual and SMRO member-volunteers with guidance, support and information to protect motorcyclists' rights and advance motorcycling and its associated lifestyle. The MRF sponsors annual regional and national educational seminars for motorcyclists' rights activists and publishes a bi-monthly newsletter, THE MRF REPORTS.

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