Opinion: Disparity in justice for South Dakota Indians
"In the 1800s when Native Americans in South Dakota were accused of a crime, no matter if they were not guilty, the harshest sentences were imposed upon them. Today, that type of sentencing still exists.

Take a look at the Ted Klaudt sentence. He was given 22 years for his sex crimes. If he was a Native American, he would have been given the maximum, which would have been life.

Orlando Fool Bull was given 22 years for invading a home. What is wrong with these two sentences? The judge in the Fool Bull case wants to protect the public from this young man by sending him to prison. The judge in the Klaudt case gave this man the minimum. The public should be protected from a sex offender more than a person who invades someone's home.

In Indian Country you get a life sentence for an allegation of sexual abuse. In Indian Country you never would see a 10-time sex offender walking around. Commit a sex crime in Indian country and you will spend the rest of your life in prison.

When are these types of sentences going to stop? We as native people need to get more involved in the courts to see to it that our people receive justice within the justice system of South Dakota."

Get the Story:
Janice K. Howe: Courts treat Indians differently (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 2/8)