|Richard Howard Battey|
|File:Richard Howard Battey.jpg|
Richard Howard Battey|
October 16, 1929
Aberdeen, South Dakota
May 6, 2017 (aged 87)|
University of South Dakota|
University of South Dakota School of Law (J.D.)
Richard Howard Battey (October 16, 1929 – May 6, 2017) was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota.
Education and career
Battey was born in Aberdeen, South Dakota. After attending the University of South Dakota in 1950, he received a Juris Doctor from the University of South Dakota School of Law in 1953. After serving as a United States Army Lieutenant from 1953 to 1955, he went into private practice in Redfield, South Dakota from 1955 to 1985. Battey was the judge responsible for the false imprisonment of Lakota Holy man Douglas White.
Federal judicial service
Battey was nominated to be a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota by Ronald Reagan on September 27, 1985. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on October 25, 1985, and received his commission on October 28, 1985. He served as Chief Judge from 1994 to 1998. He assumed senior status on January 1, 1999, serving in that status until his death.
'Sue' dinosaur fossil dispute
Battey is known for being the presiding judge in the dispute over the recovery fossil remains on Federal lands including by the Sue discoverer Peter Larson and Black Hills Institute of Geological Research paleontologists. Battey, controversially, did not recuse himself from the prosecution of Larson. Following a trial on charges unrelated to the "Sue" T. rex find, Larson was convicted of two felonies and two misdemeanors, charges which some considered politically motivated. The felonies involved the "failure to fill out forms," which resulted from contested instructions from Battey. The trial record shows that Battey told the jury to ignore testimony from the government's own customs witnesses, testimony that normally would have resulted in acquittals in these charges. Battey sentenced Larson two years in federal prison despite the maximum sentence being only six months. In 2015, South Dakota lawmakers have petitioned Barack Obama for a formal full pardon of Larson. Battey is portrayed in a negative light for his handling of Sue Dinosaur Case in the Sundance Film Festival Documentary Dinosaur 13.
Notable law clerks
Among Battey's notable judicial law clerks were David Lust and Marty Jackley.
Richard Battey died in Alexandria, Minnesota on May 6, 2017.
- "Battey, Richard Howard - Federal Judicial Center". https://www.fjc.gov/history/judges/battey-richard-howard.
- Kjærgaard, Peter C. (June 2012). "The Fossil Trade: Paying a Price for Human Origins". pp. 340–355. JSTOR 10.1086/666365.
- Browne, Malcolm (February 22, 1996). "Fossil Dealer, Target of Federal Prosecutors, Begins Jail Term". https://www.nytimes.com/1996/02/22/us/fossil-dealer-target-of-federal-prosecutors-begins-jail-term.html. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
- Browne, Malcolm W. (July 21, 1992). "A Dinosaur Named Sue Divides Fossil Hunters". https://www.nytimes.com/1992/07/21/science/a-dinosaur-named-sue-divides-fossil-hunters.html?src=pm&pagewanted=2&pagewanted=all.
- Larson & Donnan, Peter & Kristin (2002). Rex Appeal: The Amazing Story of Sue, the Dinosaur That Changed Science, the Law, and My Life. Invisible Cities Press. Note: primary source, written by Larson.
- Associated Press. "Panel calls for pardon of famous paleontologist credited in discovery of 'Sue' the T. rex". http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/museums/chi-peter-larson-pardon-20150305-story.html.
- "Battey, Judge Richard". http://rapidcityjournal.com/obits/battey-judge-richard/article_80d1c373-53c0-58d7-972d-3931ea7a820a.html.
- Richard Howard Battey at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
Andrew Wendell Bogue
|Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota
John Bailey Jones
|Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota
Lawrence L. Piersol
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