Convicted Killer In Court Thursday

Oct 3, 2012

A federal court hearing on South Dakota’s death penalty protocol moves forward Thursday, and the death row inmate involved must be in court.

Earlier this week, an attorney representing convicted child killer Donald Moeller filed paperwork asking a judge to dismiss the case. But attorneys may still argue about South Dakota’s lethal injection method.

Convicted murderer Donald Moeller’s last chance in court to avoid execution is a federal case in Sioux Falls. It challenges whether South Dakota’s planned one-drug lethal injection method is constitutional. Moeller’s federal attorneys filed paperwork that’s sealed, but his South Dakota attorney wants the case dismissed. The federal judge says Moeller must be in court to affirm his request.

"One of the issues that will likely be discussed is the stipulated motion to dismiss that challenge to South Dakota’s drug protocols," South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says. "And then from there it really will be up to the judge what further arguments he’s intending to hear."

Those arguments may still include scrutinizing whether a one-drug method is cruel and unusual punishment.

The South Dakota Supreme Court and the US Supreme Court have both upheld Moeller’s conviction and death sentence for the 1990 rape and murder of 9-year-old Becky O’Connell.