South Dakota Searchlight reports Governor Kristi Noem has issued 268 pardons in her five years in Pierre. Among those pardons is a Georgia resident who was convicted in 1994 of sexual contact with a minor:
There were 11 pardons issued on Oct. 11, 2023. Among them was a pardon for Terra Lynn Eagle Feather, who opted against a virtual meeting and drove from Georgia to Sioux Falls in March with her 2-year-old granddaughter to attend her pardon hearing.
She told the parole board that she’d spent decades raising her family and steering clear of trouble, and she earned a unanimous vote from the board to clear her 29-year-old conviction for sexual contact with a child younger than 16. It was her second request for a pardon, the first coming 10 years before.
Two weeks after her hearing, Eagle Feather told South Dakota Searchlight that she felt it was important for the board to see her face-to-face.
“I wanted them to see me,” she said. “I wanted them to see that I’m not that same 20-year-old any more. I’m a 49-year-old woman. I have a family now. If it had been in Rapid City and it was a 24-hour drive, I still would have made it” [John Hult, “Noem Issues 40 More Pardons Since April,” South Dakota Searchlight, 2023.11.03].
Eagle Feather still appears on the Georgia sex offender registry. Sex offenders seeking a pardon in Georgia have to undergo an application process separate from that of all other pardon-seekers, including a psychosexual examination and polygraph test. South Dakota’s pardon board “may request” sex offenders applying for pardons to submit to a psychosexual evaluation and polygraph test.
In pardoning this diddler of youth, Governor Noem may be warming up for a much tougher sex offender pardon, one for her friend and poster child for Republican pedophilia Joel Koskan, who is serving nine years in Springfield for repeatedly boinking his daughter.
Will Noem pardon Koskan before she leaves office, or will she make him wait 29 years as Little Feather had to, until 2052?