South Dakota Prosecutor Praised for Bringing Charges against U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow in Motorcyclist’s Death

Aug. 29, 2003

South Dakota Prosecutor Praised for Bringing Charges against U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow in Motorcyclist’s Death

Statement by Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook

A second-degree manslaughter charge brought today against U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow is certainly justified because of the congressman’s callous disregard for highway safety laws. His habitual violation of traffic laws finally caught up with him, tragically costing the life of an innocent Minnesota man whose motorcycle was struck when Janklow reportedly ran a stop sign going 70 to 75 miles per hour.

Moody County (S.D.) State’s Attorney Bill Ellingson deserves praise for bringing charges against a powerful politician who has evaded justice for so long. His actions show that under our legal system no one is above the law.

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Joan Claybrook is a former administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Earlier this week, she signed a letter, along with Ralph Nader and Clarence Ditlow of the Center for Auto Safety, demanding that Janklow resign from Congress.