State v. Burkman

Decision Date11 July 1979
Docket NumberNo. 12616,12616
Citation281 N.W.2d 442
PartiesSTATE of South Dakota, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Jeffrey Wayne BURKMAN, Defendant and Appellant.
CourtSouth Dakota Supreme Court

John P. Guhin, Asst. Atty. Gen., Pierre, for plaintiff and respondent; Mark V. Meierhenry, Atty. Gen., Pierre, on the brief.

Sidney B. Strange, Sioux Falls, for defendant and appellant.



Jeffrey Burkman (Burkman) appeals from the revocation of his probation and the imposition of a two-year penitentiary sentence.


                The facts chronologically follow
                June 17, 1977:      A grand jury indicts Burkman for
                                    distribution of a controlled
                                    substance per SDCL 39-17-88 *
                September 7, 1977:  Burkman enters a guilty plea to the
                                    reduced charge of one dose of LSD
                February 16, 1978:  The trial court suspends imposition
                                    of sentence for four years.  Burkman
                                    signs the standard probation
                                    agreement and agrees to these
                                    (1) search and seizure
                                    (2) chemical analysis
                                    (3) refrainment from associating
                                        with know drug users or drug
                February 25, 1978:  Burkman and Mary Smith are
                                    arrested for possession of controlled
                May 12, 1978:       Burkman is convicted for possession
                                    of cocaine.
                May 24, 1978:       The State files a motion to revoke
                                    suspended imposition.
                July 7, 1978:       An amended motion to revoke
                                    suspended imposition is filed
                                    urging that Burkman:
                                    (1) failed to obey all laws;
                                    (2) failed to associate only with
                                        law-abiding persons;
                                    (3) associated with known drug
                September 8, 1978:  Burkman is sentenced to South
                                    Dakota Penitentiary for a two-
                                    year term.

(1) Did the trial court apply an erroneous standard of proof to determine w hether Burkman violated a condition of parole?

(2) Was the two-year penitentiary sentence cruel and unusual punishment?


Burkman urges this court to adopt a "clear and convincing" standard of proof in revocation hearings in order to protect the interests discussed in SDCL 23-57-4. We decline to do so.

A proceeding to revoke probation is not a criminal prosecution. 21 Am.Jur.2d Criminal Law § 568. Four standards of proof have been adopted by the various jurisdictions in revocation hearings: 1) reasonably satisfied, United States v. Strada, 503 F.2d 1081 (8th Cir. 1974); 2) a preponderance, State v. McGinnis, 243 N.W.2d 583 (Iowa 1976); 3) clear and convincing, State v. Howard, 193 Neb. 45, 225 N.W.2d 391 (1975); 4) beyond a reasonable doubt, People v. Carr, 185 Colo. 293, 524 P.2d 301 (1974).

In South Dakota, the required standard of proof at a probation revocation proceeding is the "reasonably satisfied" standard. In Application of Jerrel, 77 S.D. 487, 93 N.W.2d 614 (1958) this court said:

Before revoking the suspension of the execution of a sentence by the court there must be some showing that the convicted person's behavior is not good or that he has violated the conditions or restitutions imposed upon him. Such factual showing must be sufficient to justify the exercise of discretion by the court in revoking the suspension.

77 S.D. at 492, 493, 93 N.W.2d at 617.

State v. Elder, 77 S.D. 540, 95 N.W.2d 592 (1959) expressed that "(a)n order of revocation, however, must be based on a factual showing sufficient to justify the exercise of the court's discretion. Otherwise, no particular source, manner, or degree of proof is required." 77 S.D. at 545, 95 N.W.2d at 595. We also said that:

"(P)roof sufficient to support a criminal conviction is not required to support a judge's discretionary order revoking probation. A judge in such proceeding need not have evidence that would establish beyond a reasonable doubt guilt of criminal offenses. All that is required is that the evidence and facts be such as to reasonably satisfy the judge that the conduct of the probationer has not been as good as required by the conditions of probation." Manning v. United States, 5 Cir., 161 F.2d 827, 829.

77 S.D. at 544, 95 N.W.2d at 594.

The "reasonably satisfied" standard is constitutional. United States v. Strada, supra. It has been widely adopted by state and federal courts. South Dakota has adhered to it for years, has found it workable, and has found that it protects the interests of the probationer and the interests of society. We are not convinced that a move away from the "reasonably satisfied" standard is warranted.

We have carefully reviewed the record presented to this court. We are convinced that the "reasonably satisfied" standard was more than adequately met and that the trial court did not err in revoking Burkman's probation.


On September 7, 1977, when Burkman pleaded guilty to violating SDCL 39-17-95, the maximum sentence was five years in the penitentiary, a $5,000 fine, or fine and imprisonment. The court suspended imposition on February 16, 1978. Nine days later the State moved to revoke the suspension of imposition. On September 8, 1978, Burkman was sentenced on his September 7, 1977 plea to two years in the penitentiary. On the date of sentencing, the maximum sentence was two years in the penitentiary, a $2,000 fine, or fine and imprisonment. Burkman argues that he thus received the maximum...

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13 cases
  • Lewis v. Class, 19651
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • 15 Enero 1997
    ...of probation, does not constitute a criminal prosecution. State v. Murphy, 506 N.W.2d 130, 132 (S.D.1993) (citing State v. Burkman, 281 N.W.2d 442 (S.D.1979)). Unless the State charges him with a new crime, the only authority it may exercise over an inmate/parolee relates back to the origin......
  • State v. McCormick
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • 11 Febrero 1986
    ...the probationer has not been as good as required under the conditions imposed. State v. Olson, 305 N.W.2d 852 (S.D.1981); State v. Burkman, 281 N.W.2d 442 (S.D.1979).2 Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471, 489, 92 S.Ct. 2593, 2604, 33 L.Ed.2d 484, 499 (1972), enumerated the "minimum requiremen......
  • Wink v. State
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • 1 Septiembre 1988
    ...v. Brusenhan, 78 N.M. 764, 438 P.2d 174, 176 (App.1968). (Standard is akin to Georgia's standard of "slight evidence"); State v. Burkman, 281 N.W.2d 442, 443 (S.D.1979) ("Four standards of proof have been adopted by the various jurisdictions in revocation hearings: 1) reasonably satisfied; ......
  • State v. Bailey, 16911
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • 19 Septiembre 1990
    ...its discretion in revoking probation and its decision will be upheld. State v. Herrlein, 424 N.W.2d 376, 377 (S.D.1988); State v. Burkman, 281 N.W.2d 442, 443 (S.D.1978). Although conviction of a collateral offense is not a prerequisite to revocation, Herrlein, 424 N.W.2d at 378 (Henderson,......
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