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SDPB Radio Coverage of the South Dakota Legislature. See all coverage and find links to audio and video streams live from the Capitol at www.sdpb.org/statehouse

SD Senate Says Juvenile Competency Evaluation Standards Necessary

Juveniles who commit crimes in South Dakota may benefit from new legislation. State Senator Craig Tieszen is the former Rapid City Police Chief. He told his fellow lawmakers that House Bill 1073 is designed to establish a much needed procedure for determining whether or not juveniles in the State's court system are competent.

Tieszen spent thirty-two years in law enforcement. He says he remembers cases where juveniles as young as ten years old would have been better served by having their own set of evaluation standards.

“Currently in SD law there is no procedure or standards for the determination of the competence of a juvenile that is subject of a delinquency or a CHINS proceeding. As a result, the courts through the years earlier relied on or borrowed from the adult competency standards for adult criminal cases. As a result those procedures do not necessarily fit for application to a juvenile,” says Tieszen.

House Bill 1073 is at the request of the Chief Justice. There was no opposition to the bill - it now goes to the Governor for his signature.