Bosworth Case May Chill Participation in South Dakota
This week, Citizens in Charge Foundation President Paul Jacob traveled to Pierre and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to release an 18-page report on the prosecution of Dr. Annette Bosworth by South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley, warning at a news conference in Sioux Falls that it may have “a chilling effect on political participation.”
“We want the law to be enforced and people held accountable,” said Jacob, “but the severity of this penalty goes too far and threatens to scare citizens away from getting involved in politics.”
The report [attached below] examines the facts of the case State of South Dakota v. Bosworth, wherein Bosworth has been charged with 12 felony counts of filing a false document and perjury, carrying a maximum punishment of 24 years in prison, if convicted, and as much as $48,000 in fines. The report also compares the Bosworth case with other cases of alleged petition misconduct.
“The prosecution of Dr. Bosworth carries the toughest potential penalty of any petition case anywhere in the nation and throughout this nation’s history,” Jacob said. “The impact of the case on those considering getting involved in politics in South Dakota cannot be ignored.”
Jacob is considered an expert on the petition process having been involved in hundreds of petition drives, written extensively on the process and served as an expert witness in court cases.
“I’m troubled that this case springs forth from an ongoing, multi-year battle between the Attorney General Jackley and Dr. Bosworth,” Jacob commented. “People may well question whether this prosecution is more personal or political than it is about enforcing the law. That is a very destructive perception when we want an open election process.”
The trial of Dr. Annette Bosworth begins on May 18.
Argus Leader - “Report: Bosworth prosecution overkill”
Full Report: South Dakota’s Prosectuion of Dr. Annette Bosworth