In The Moment … July 2, 2020 Show 851 Hour 2

SDPB's Kevin Woster contemplates the message of music and the role of religion in seeking justice on his blog this week.

You can find his work online at sdpb.org/woster. 

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Adria Botella

In The Moment ... July 19, 2018 Show 382 Hour 1

Mark Salter has been sworn in as the 51st Justice of the South Dakota Supreme Court and will serve the Second Supreme Court District , where Justice Glen Severson served before his retirement.

A Huron native, Justice Salter has a long record of service, including as the presiding judge for Veterans Treatment Court and as an adjunct professor at the University of South Dakota School of Law.

He joined In The Moment to discuss the future plans for his new position. 

Chris Laughery

In The Moment ... March 1, 2017 Show 040 Hour 2

Dakota Political Junkies Roger Whittle and Dana Ferguson join us to discuss “deeply held religious beliefs” as they relate to adoption in the state. We also discuss lawmaker attempts to address refugee vetting and dig in to definitions by talking about shell bills, hoghouse amendments, and what it means when lawmakers smoke a bill out of committee.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Judges, attorneys, and law enforcement endorse a bill in South Dakota’s Statehouse that aims to ease mental health problems for people entering the justice system. House Bill 1183 is a measure that changes competency assessments, creates training for people who work in criminal justice, and encourages works that helps people avoid unnecessary arrests or extended time in jail.

Former US Attorney Calls For Peltier Release

Jan 5, 2017

A former justice department official who supervised the case of Leonard Peltier’s appeal wants him released. The previous US Attorney wrote a letter to the White House in favor of the Native American activist.
President Barack Obama has until the end of his term to decide whether to issue a pardon.
Leonard Peltier was a member of the American Indian Movement. He is serving two life sentences on a conviction for murdering two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
He has been in prison for over 40 years.

Federal Defender

Federal public defender Neil Fulton joins Midday to dive into the issues of racial disparity in federal sentencing. Using Victoria Wicks’ conversation with Judge Viken as a starting point, Fulton explores the complexities from his perspective as a public defender.  He touches on Indian Country, the data collection problem and the perception of justice.


Two of South Dakota’s five Supreme Court justices say issues of justice for minorities in the state are more about poverty than race. Those comments came during a Sioux Falls Rotary meeting on Monday, July 11.

The Sioux Falls Rotary met to discuss exactly how the state’s highest court receives and, subsequently, hears cases.

When asked about how the state administers justice toward minorities in South Dakota, Supreme Court justice Glen Severson says he thinks the state’s judicial system is fair, but he says that’s not the full story.

Former Middle School Teacher Gets 25 Years In Child Porn Case

Nov 16, 2015

Former Rapid City middle school teacher Andrew Hipakka was sentenced to 25 years in prison for attempted enticement of a minor on the internet.  
The case involves 100-thousand images of child pornography over a two year period and Hipakka’s recorded live chat videos of minors he convinced to perform sex acts over the internet.  Federal Judge Jeffrey Viken also sentenced Hipakka to a lifetime of supervised release.   
Viken calls Hipakka a predator.   Prosecutors say this case lead to arrests around the country and world.

Local Leaders Join Up To Improve Race Relations

Jul 21, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

A new effort in Rapid City that includes a broad range of community leaders is working to improve race relations.  

The city has seen racial tension increase in recent months following a police shooting of a Lakota man and an incident where a group of non-natives are accused of shouting racial slurs and throwing beer on Lakota children at a hockey game.

A Pierre committee is moving forward with reforms to South Dakota’s juvenile justice system. Legislation that changes the way the state handles young offenders has now passed three of four steps to getting on the governor’s desk.

Governor Proposes Major Juvenile Justice Reforms

Jan 13, 2015

Governor Dennis Daugaard is proposing major reforms to the way the state deals with juvenile delinquents.    Daugaard’s proposal mirrors changes made to the adult system two years ago-in that it seeks alternative punishment for non-violent offenders rather than incarceration in expensive state intuitions.

Some lawmakers praise the governor’s proposed reforms – but others are critical of his failure to address another issue effecting young people in the state – the teacher shortage.