Out of respect please step aside

Leslie Silverman

Our state attorney general should step down. Not because he’s human and unintentionally killed a pedestrian.

We have all had traffic accidents; whether our fault or not, they happen. But Mr. Ravnsborg lied about the events of that evening. And he broke the law. And as our state’s highest attorney he should respect the great citizens of this state enough to step down.

I am disappointed the investigation into this incident took so long. At the same time I think the parties involved did a thorough job in charging Ravnsborg with the greatest charges possible under state law. These charges are not enough.

The possibility of at most 90 days in jail and $1,500 in fines won’t bring back a family’s father from the dead. Ninety days in jail and a $1,500 fine doesn’t convey the seriousness of this fatality. South Dakota’s laws on texting and driving, a known distraction, don’t go far enough.

I don’t know where the line should be. I think it’s less severe than drinking or drugging while driving. But I do think it’s more severe than merely being distracted from, say, changing a radio station or attending to a back seat kiddo.

The laws in South Dakota regarding cell phones are antiquated. They don’t take into account the plethora of tourists our state gets. Or the multitude of new residents our growing state is seeing. The laws date back to a smaller, simpler South Dakota.

 Ravnsborg’s egregious act should be the tipping point for our cell phone “rights.” This is a terrible tragedy, but we as South Dakotans have an opportunity to change the outcome of this incident. We can vote Ravnsborg out of a job. And we can demand that our politicians increase the penalties for distracted cell and drive offenders.

We owe it to the Boever family to increase the penalties for distracted cell phone drivers. And we owe it to them to remove this dishonest man from office.

While I believe in innocent until proven guilty, I do not think he hit a deer in the middle of the road. I believe he left the scene of a crime after striking a pedestrian on the side of the road. And I believe that he knows he did. I think most of us believe this, too, simply because no one goes back the day after hitting a deer to check on the deer, we call our insurance companies. We get our cars looked at. Why on Earth would anyone who hit a deer go back to see it the next day? Unless they knew they were not in the middle of the road, but rather driving “out of his lane.”

Ravnsborg has taken little to no responsibility for his crimes. His statement to the AP said, “I appreciate, more than ever, that the presumption of innocence placed within our legal system continues to work.”

Ravnsborg is free to spend time with his family. He is free to drive to and from any place he chooses. He is free to go to work, representing our state in legal affairs. While his victim’s family continues to mourn and grieve.

Ravnsborg should step down as the attorney general of this great state. Period.

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