Shannon County became Oglala Lakota County after voters overwhelmingly approved the change in November 2014.. Photo by Neeta Lind / Flickr
Order blocking Oglala Lakota citizens on county jury trials rescinded
By Native Sun News Staff PINE RIDGE –– The South Dakota Supreme Court ruled on November 4 that former Seventh Circuit Presiding Judge Jeff Davis had no authority to deprive Oglala Lakota (Shannon) County jurors of the right to sit on jury trials that arise in that county. Judge Davis had issued a standing order 2009, which was vacated today by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled Judge Davis “exceeded his statutory and constitutional authority in issuing the standing order effectively changing venue in all Shannon County cases.” “Whatever the reasons for the order, his authority does not include the power to effectively change the venue of all properly venued Shannon County cases,” the Supreme Court opinion said. “The standing order clearly went beyond the confines of the presiding judge’s statutory authority.” “This is a victory for the residents of Oglala Lakota County,“ said Charles Abourezk, one of the two attorneys from Abourezk Law Firm handling the intermediate appeal to the Supreme Court.
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