This year’s first session of the South Dakota Supreme Court kicks off Monday in Vermillion at the University of South Dakota’s School of Law at 9 a.m.
The Supreme Court will hear eight cases this week.
For each of these cases, each side gets 20 minutes to testify. After, the five South Dakota Supreme Court Justices meet and form their opinion. It will be months before the justice’s give their opinion. That’s how much time it’ll take them to make a final decision.
The Supreme Court will hear some of the state’s biggest cases this week.
For example, the first hearing Monday is the State v. Briley Piper. Piper was found guilty back in 2000 for the murder of Chester Poage. At the time, Piper plead guilty to murder – so, the courts said because of that he waved his right to a trial by jury and a judge sentenced him to death.
Piper tried to appeal his guilty plea. But, the courts didn’t let him. However, in 2011 Piper did get a new trial and he was sentenced again to death.
On Monday, the Supreme Court will review the death sentence. This is mandatory anytime anyone is sentenced to death.
Another big case on Tuesday is the State v. Medicine Eagle. This case also goes back to 2000 and involves the rape of a 15-year-old girl. Medicine Eagle was charged with that rape. The discussion here is about some of the DNA forensic evidence that was used to convict Medicine Eagle.
And on Wednesday, a big case will be Vollmer v. HSBC Card Services. This case dates back to the December 2008 killing of Julie Tassler by her husband Steven. The couple was in the middle of a divorce when Steven shot and killed Julie and himself, after she was leaving work at HSBC Card Services.
Julie’s father wanted to get worker’s comp for her death because she was killed at work. He was denied that. So, that will be questioned on Wednesday.
We’ll be bringing you complete live coverage from inside the Supreme Court throughout the week.