South Dakota is trying to deny a speedy trial to a number of criminal defendants arguing that the Corona Virus pandemic should allow them to get a waiver due to extraordinary circumstances.
A federal judge has called bullsh%$ on this, justifying this by the fact that, “South Dakota has done ‘little, if anything’ to curtail COVID-19.”
Basically, the judge is saying that the government of South Dakota, at the instigation Governor Kristi “Crazy Eyes” Noem, has refused to take even the most basic measure to deal the the situation, and that defendants should not suffer as a result.
Karma is a bitch:
A federal judge says a state court can’t use the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to delay a Codington County trial and in the same breath criticized South Dakota’s response to the pandemic, saying it has done “little, if anything,” to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
U.S. District Judge Charles B. Kornmann ordered that unless the Codington County state court resolves Matthew Kurtenbach’s May 2019 case by January 15, 2021, Kurtenbach will win a federal petition he filed claiming wrongful imprisonment and a violation of his right to a speedy trial.
And in that same adjudication, filed federally in the Northern Division of the District of South Dakota and which can be read in full at the bottom of this story, Kornmann harshly criticized the state and Gov. Kristi Noem’s response to the pandemic and said some state courts could have done more to keep cases moving while protecting parties.
“South Dakota has done little, if anything, to curtail the spread of the virus,” Kornmann wrote in the Dec. 28 decision.
He later said:
“South Dakota cannot ‘take advantage’ of its own failures to follow scientific facts and safeguards in entering blanket denials of the rights of speedy trials.”
An excerpt from the filing:
The Governor has steadfastly refused to impose a statewide mask mandate. She has often questioned publicly the scientific fact that mask wearing prevents the virus from spreading. she appeared at a dedication ceremony for a large 3M Company in Aberdeen manufacturing plant expansion — to allow 3M to produce even more N95 respirators needed by front-line healthcare workers — as the only public official not wearing a mask. Her example significantly encourages south Dakotans to not wear masks. South Dakota is now a very dangerous place in which to live due to the spread of COVID-19. Even a casual observer must note the failure of most residents of South Dakota to wear masks and maintain social distancing.
He went on to cite a separate case, Carson v. Simon, in saying: “There is no pandemic exception to the Constitution.”
I should not feel schadenfreude about this, but I do.