New Victim Notification Requirements Keep Accused in Jail Longer; Glodt Claims Rights Are “Opt-In”

Amendment S, the new crime victims bill of rights, is already infringing on the rights of defendants by keeping them in jail longer than necessary:

The victim notification requirement of Constitutional Amendment S, also known as Marsy’s Law, is creating delays in the court system because hearings are having to be rescheduled until victims can be properly notified.

“We used to be able to handle this stuff in two minutes,” said Ryan Kolbeck, president of the South Dakota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. “Now it takes two weeks and some of these people are sitting in jail during this time” [Mark Walker, “Lawyers Say Marsy’s Law Forcing Clients to Sit in Jail,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2016.11.29].

The new victim notification requirements are hitting poor defendants harder:

Minnehaha County Public Defender Traci Smith said her office has had court dates that were scheduled before Marsy’s Law was passed in which a judge was asked to address bond. But, because the state did not inform the victim that bond would be addressed at the hearing, another hearing has to be scheduled.

This, she said, is causing clients to sit in jail because prosecutors’ have to request more time to notify the victims.

“We cannot balance the state’s duties under Marsy’s Law on the backs of our clients simply because they are too poor to bond out of jail,” Smith said. “A client shouldn’t have to sit in jail or have his plea date delayed on a petty theft because the state didn’t notify Walmart or Kum-N-Go” [Walker, 2016.11.29].

Jason Glodt, the GOP consultant who got nearly two million dollars (see the 2015 year-end2016 pre-primary, and 2016 pre-general reports) from California billionaire Henry T. Nicholas to foist this fouling of due process on South Dakotans accused of crimes, insists that South Dakota law enforcement and courts are misreading the new constitutional amendment. Glodt says cops and courts don’t have to enforce the new victim rights unless a victim opts-in:

…Glodt says Marsy’s law is intended to be an opt-in program; something that is spelled out in the first paragraph following the list of victims’ rights.

“That clearly says the victim, upon request, may assert and seek enforcement of their rights,” Glodt said [Bridget Bennett, “Proponents Say Marsy’s Law Intended to Be Opt-In,” KSFY, 2016.12.01].

Glodt points to this clause of the new amendment:

The victim, the retained attorney of the victim, a lawful representative of the victim, or the attorney for the government, upon request of the victim, may assert and seek enforcement of the rights enumerated in this section and any other right afforded to a victim by law in any trial or appellate court, or before any other authority with jurisdiction over the case, as a matter of right [Amendment S].

But Minnehaha County State’s Attorney Aaron McGowan points to the opening line of Amendment S:

A victim shall have the following rights, beginning at the time of victimization:… [emphasis mine].

That language seems clear: victims have these new rights the moment they are victimized. These victim rights are just like free speech rights: sure, I can assert them in court, but they don’t start when I enter the courtroom. I have those rights at the moment I speak, or at the moment that someone unfairly prevents me from speaking. The state thus has an obligation to protect those rights before I assert them, and I can hold the state accountable for not enforcing those rights.

I can thus see why the courts are being cautious… and why Amendment S is now forcing South Dakotans who are innocent until proven guilty to languish longer in jail.

Jason Glodt is having to do a lot of explaining of what his constitutional language means. Maybe Jason Glodt should have taken the time to write that meaning into the actual language of Amendment S.


18 Responses to New Victim Notification Requirements Keep Accused in Jail Longer; Glodt Claims Rights Are “Opt-In”

  1. Richard Schriever

    Maybe the “at the time of victimization” bit should be taken with equal consideration of the “innocent until PROVEN guilty” idea. I.E., the victim is not officially a victim until such time as the crime is PROVEN in court to have been committed????? Prior to the court’s decision, as we all know, the perpetrator is only “alleged” to have been a criminal. Likewise, until proven so in the courts, the victim should only be considered to be “alleged” to be a victim. No?

  2. No problem, this will just add to the taxpayer costs of the whole shebang. I think counties should be adding more prison space onto existing structures, or fancy new fortress ones. The taxpayers can afford it, they did not bother to seek the consequences of this barrister’s smooth talk and Marty Jackley could not explain its consequences forcefully either. They just read their mailers and voted Republican.

  3. This law is so damn poorly written. EVEN IF we assume Glodt’s reading of the text is correct, and it clearly isn’t, how long does a victim have to assert this right? Until the victim does affirmatively assert the rights due to them under Marsy’s Law, what are we to do with the defendants in such cases? Further, as Richard correctly noted above, the assumption that a person is a victim, and the notification required to that victim, run headlong into the long into the presumption of innocence protected by the 5th, 6th and 14th amendments of the US Constitution, as well as Article 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    The people who pushed and voted this stupid bill into law should be ashamed of themselves.

  4. Talk about out-of-state money……jeezuz. Perhaps Glodt and the billionaire should be paying for all of money it is going to cost taxpayers to make sure this law gets followed.

    And also, Glodt and the billionaire should pay for any lawsuits generated out of defendants rights being violated. This should NOT come out of South Dakota taxpayer pockets. But it will

  5. Richard Schriever

    People I talked to who voted for this were all low-info Trump supporters. No surprises here.

  6. I considered Jason Glodt my friend when we were growing up in the same church in Wessington Springs, and I wrote it off as youthful ignorance when he spray-painted a large black swastika onto the concrete in Stratton Park, but I now regard him as an unprincipled money-grubber who’d make South Dakota a better place by leaving.

    It’s disgusting that Marty Jackley puts power in Glodt’s hands, and it’s profoundly disappointing that Mark Mickelson is effectively forcing me to support Kristi Noem in the 2018 Republican primary for governor.

  7. Roger Cornelius

    Why should it take the prosecutors so long to notify victims?
    In most standard court proceedings the legal stuff is usually taken care of before it enters a courtroom.

    Maybe Bear or some other legal eagle can help me out here, but didn’t SCOTUS or the Justice Department recently say that the justice system is holding people, especially poor people, too long without setting bonds or setting bonds so high that alleged defendants will sit in jail for an undue and unnecessary amount of time.

  8. Jason Glodt

    Wow Kurt- I have no idea what you are talking about. I’ve been attacked for a lot of things but never as something this bad.

  9. Jason Glodt

    Also, Kurt- feel free to call me anytime if you want to talk about Marsy’s Law. There is a lot of misinformation out there right now, but I believe it will soon be cleared up. My phone is 605-280-7767

  10. Roger Cornelius

    Thanks bear, that is what I was referring to.

  11. Jason Glodt writes:

    Wow Kurt- I have no idea what you are talking about. I’ve been attacked for a lot of things but never as something this bad.

    In Wessington Springs there’s a place just to the east of the community library where a creek flows out of the city park and under main street. I watched Jason Glodt spray-paint a large black swastika on the concrete above the culvert sometime around 1990, and it remained visible there for many years after his family had moved away.

    We had an email exchange last night in which he insisted that I must have him confused with someone else and that he couldn’t imagine ever doing such a thing. I don’t have him confused with someone else, but I believe he doesn’t remember doing it.

    Even though he’s still saying I’m wrong (and even though “Marsy’s Law” makes my stomach turn), I appreciate the fact that he came straight to me to hash the matter out, and I feel like my comments yesterday were probably too personal.

  12. I agree that past graffiti (especially youthfully ignorant graffiti) is not indicative of future performance. It’s enough for me to look at the text of Amendment S and Glodt’s vigorous efforts to read interpretations into it to conclude that he looked more closely at the checks Henry T. Nicholas sent than at the vanity bill Nicholas gave him to sell.

    Thinking about what Dicta, Richard, and Roger said, perhaps we have two constitutional grounds on which Amendment S could be thrown out in favor of U.S. Constitutional protections of the rights of the accused, specifically the presumption of innocence, the right to a fair and speedy trial, and, ancillarily, the protection of poor defendants against discrimination from being stuck in jail without bond too long.

  13. Roger, yes, I would think notifying victims would be pretty straightforward and quick. Much of the time, the whole reason the cops have arrested someone is that the victim reported the crime. Cops should have contact info from the start.

    Even if Glodt is right and the courts can technically read an “opt-in” clause into Amendment S, if I know someone has a right, but I charge ahead and take actions that violate that right just because that person hasn’t bothered to contact me and remind me of her rights, doesn’t that make me kind of a jerk?

  14. Richard Schriever

    Jason Glodt. Now that “Marsy’s” law is part of the SD constitution, guess what? YOU DON’T GET TO DEFINE WHAT IT MEANS. The courts do. You’re out! Back to the dug-out.

  15. Mr. Glodt might just be spending his money on some big steaks right now, Mr. Schriever. He doesn’t really care, he probably has already been paid and will be paid more to keep talking about it.

    This is why the ignorant public should not be allowed to have the measures of initiated. It is bad, it is really bad. We are talking about the same people who pump money into the lottery machines because they can’t do math.

  16. Richard Schriever

    grudz – the problem with this particular measure is not that it was “initiated”, but that it was initiated by a NON South Dakotan, on whom it will have NO IMPACT.

  17. Mr. Schriever, you may just have a very valid point there. Out-of-staters have no business messing with things they don’t have to live with and don’t vote on or pay taxes for.

    You may have a very valid point indeed, Mr. Schriever. Bastages!