Dollar Loan Center, Death Sentence Cases Heard By South Dakota Supreme Court

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Two high profile cases, one involving a South Dakota death row inmate and the other, a controversial money-lender, were brought before the South Dakota Supreme Court Monday during their three-day stay at the University of Sioux Falls.

Supreme Court justices first heard the appeal case of death row inmate Briley Piper.

“We’re talking about how Briley Piper did not understand the consequences of his guilty plea,” said piper’s Attorney Ryan Kolbeck.

Piper pled guilty in 2001 for his role in the killing of Chester Allan Poage.

Piper’s new attorney argues that Piper’s trial lawyers were ineffective in his appeal and his right to due process was violated, meaning Piper’s case needs to start over from the beginning.

“I know that sounds drastic, I know that sounds crazy in 2018 to go back to 2001. But if due process means anything, if advisement of rights means anything, that must occur,” said Kolbeck.

The state disagrees; arguing Piper’s legal moves were calculated and deliberate.

“He knew what he wanted, he wanted a court sentencing, he raced into the courthouse to the first of his trio to plead guilty so he could appear to accept responsibility, and appear to be remorseful even though he was not,” said Assistant Attorney General Paul Swedlund.

Representatives for Dollar Loan Center also pleaded their case before the court, arguing that the state Banking Division was unconstitutional in revoking their lending license without a proper hearing.

“And that’s the relief we are seeking through this appeal. That this revocation be nullified. If they want to start over and attempt to revoke us the proper way, they certainly can,” said Attorney Zachary Peterson.

The State argues the business had the opportunity to challenge the revocation and chose not to.

“Can a party be aggrieved by a final decision in a contested case if further administrative remedies exist, if you have not exhausted those administrative remedies?” asked Attorney Paul Bachand.

The justices will not decide on any cases this week, their findings will be issued in the coming months.

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