I think they got the hint. Session to be open

Despite someone accusing me of "spiking the story" because I was busy working on my computer instead of blogging (I do have a life you know) , the Argus Leader is reporting tonight that the special session looks like it's going to be open after all:
A special session next month to investigate allegations of misconduct between a state senator and a legislative page will be conducted in public, according to proposed rules for the session.

Those rules, which are still in draft form, could change.

But as of now, Sen. Ed Olson said late today, the rules call for an open session.

A majority of senators could vote to change those rules when the Senate convenes on Nov. 27. The proposed rules were sent to Senate members Wednesday.


.... the Senate is a product of representative democracy, and democratic institutions are supposed to work and deliberate in full view of the people who give them their power.

Read it all here.


Anonymous said…

Is this the exclusive content coming? Yawn!
PP said…
No. Just hold your horses. It's coming.
Anonymous said…
Now all we need is a pair of stained, blue, pajama bottoms.
Anonymous said…
I think the execlusive content was the stuff the Argus Leader had on their website a few hours ago
Anonymous said…
With all the extremely attractive young ladies who have served as pages over the years, it's really unbelieveable the first "page scandal" (or is it the first?) involves two males.
Anonymous said…
I hope Senators Kloucek and Napoli lead the three-ring inquisition. I'm sure they will make South Dakota proud.

We are beginning to feel the effects of term limits.
Anonymous said…
Please tell me, what are our Senators going to learn in two days when our Attorney General couldn't get enough information over several months?

Maybe the AG is close to doing something, but he has put more than two days of work into it!

Judge, Court and Jury all in two days! Wow! This is Wild West "shoot um up" gunfight at it's best. And heck, they will still get home in time for the nut feed at the Legion on Friday night! What a deal!

Who do you suppose is making the hangman's noose? Hey, who do you suppose is going to wear the hood over their head? You know, the guy that trips the lever!

And we thought lynching was outlawed long ago.

Yes, two day justice in South Dakota. Don't say we don't give our taxpayers their money's worth!

I don’t know our law that well, but what happens if Sutton just says “I’m not going to comment on anything because of the ongoing AG investigation”. Then what happens? Any attorney worth his or her salt would probably tell you to keep your mouth shut if your under investigation. Am I right?

I would like to know what some of our trial attorneys think of this “two day inquest”? What would you do if Sutton was your client? I don’t care if your Republican or Democrat, what would YOU do?

Why in the world wouldn’t the Senate wait for trained investigators to lay out the total case in front of them and then decide? Seems like the full investigation should come before the hanging! Or is this one of those deals where the truth really doesn’t matter?
Anonymous said…
I am also wondering, if all this information is laid out to the public during this two day session, does this public disclosure make it impossible for Sutton to get a fair trial when and if he does go to court?

Would this open session make it difficult to bring Sutton to trail if the facts dictate that a trial should occur?

Again, I'm not an attorney, but I did used to watch Parry Mason a lot on TV!
todd douglas said…
VJ --
To use a not very equal example, this is similar to the OJ Simpson trial. The prosecutors could not prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of committing the crminal acts of murder. So he was not guilty and no prison time.

However, OJ was proven guilty of the civil act of being responsible for the deaths of his wife and Ron Goldman. This did not require proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The punishment for that civil wrong was money damages.

The Senate action will be simialr to the OJ civil action. There is a much lower standard of proof in civil cases because the penalties do not involve a loss of liberty (prison).
Anonymous said…

Watching Parry Mason on TV is not near as good as staying in a Holiday Inn.
Anonymous said…
All I am saying, is that I don't know how our Senators can do their whole complete trial in just two days!

Some of you long time political observers: Does anything ever get done in two days by our Senators?

Again, the AG's office has been investigating for months and still aren't ready to bring or dismiss their concerns. Now our Senators are going to investigates the facts (provided by who?), be prosecutor and Jury and do the sentencing all in two days?

Heck, I know of a couple of DUI trials that lasted two days.

And if any attorneys read this blog, would you please answer some of questions that I have asked in previous posts shown above?
Anonymous said…

get a clue. This is not a criminal action. This is one branch of government taking action on it own.

The SD Senate is allowed to discipline its members just as your workplace is allowed to discipline you.

Let's say you are caught sexually harrasing a secretary. Your employer can discipline you. From a reprimand to firing. But they cannot file criminal charges against you. Only the Executive Branch of state government can do that.

Here, we have one branch of state government disciplining one of its members, as it is authorized to do under the South Dakota Constitution.

If you don't like it put a ballot measure on the ballot two years from now saying that groping by state senators cannot be investigated by the state senate until the executive branch completes its investigation. Would probably be ruled unconstitutional as an improper conflict regarding seperation of powers but go for it.

In the meantime realize that the legislative branch of government does not have to wait for the executive in order to discipline one of its own.

You are probably the same guy jumping up and down in a slobber over Denny Hastert and Mark Foley.
Anonymous said…
No, not at all! I want Sutton punished if he did wrong. All I am saying is that the AG has worked on this for 8 months trying to figure out if there is a case or not. Now our Senators are going to meet for two days and investigate, prosecute, judge, jury and sentence in two days. I am just wondering how fair this is going to be?

I don’t want the Senate to do things that might stop Sutton from being prosecuted by the AG.

And with all the due process involved that a person is entitled to, I just don’t know how you can do a good job in two days.

And as far as Denny Hastert and Mark Foley. I think Foley got himself into a huge mess, and I think Hastert is being made a “villain” by the Democrats! I don’t want our U.S. Senate to have a two-day hearing and throw Hastert out. Get ALL the facts, and then decide if a person is innocent or guilty. Just don’t do a two-day justice type of thing!

Also, not really knowing that much about our laws, I was wondering an attorney would advise Mr. Sutton to say if they were his attorney. I just wanted some of the questions answered that I posted previously.

If the guy is guilty then let’s nail him, but let’s make sure we are doing it the right way!
Anonymous said…

You realize the legislature has an entire session in 35 or 40 days... I seriously doubt that nothing will happen between now and then in the way of preparation. There are a lot of 1- and 2-day trials in the criminal justice system, but that doesn't mean nothing was done other than those two days. There's an entire month between now and then.

I think it's a good idea to limit this to two days - if we stretched it into a week, it would become that much more of a spectacle. They can vote on their rules when they arrive (those will have been thoroughly reviewed by then), hear testimony, consider evidence, and make a decision. If they think they need longer to "deliberate," they can always just cover the clock.
Anonymous said…
This has nothing to do with the guilt or innocence of Dan Sutton.

This is all about politics, an impending election, and South Dakota legislative Republican tit for U.S. congressional Democratic tat.

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