death penalty

A South Dakota death row inmate who gave up all of his appeals has to return to federal court next week. That’s because an outside attorney has filed paperwork requesting a judge stay his planned execution.

Monday Donald Moeller must appear before Judge Lawrence Piersol in Sioux Falls. Donna Nichols is listed in court papers as a friend of Moeller’s. She asks the judge to prevent Moeller’s execution by lethal injection, which is scheduled for the week of October 28, 2012.

Execution of Eric Robert

Oct 16, 2012

SDPB News Director was part of the media pool that covered the execution of Eric Robert on Monday night.  Robert had pleaded guilty in the April 12, 2011, slaying of prison guard Ronald Johnson during a failed escape attempt.  Robert asked to be put to death, saying he would kill again.  He was put to death by lethal injection at the State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls.  He was pronounced dead at 10:24 p.m.

People who witnessed the execution of confessed murderer Eric Robert had the opportunity to speak to local media following Monday night's lethal injection. Robert confessed to killing corrections officer Ronald Johnson during a failed escape attempt at the South Dakota State Penitentiary on April 12, 2011. Robert died the night of October 25, 2012. 

Hannah Olsen

The execution of Eric Robert was carried out last night at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls. Robert pleaded guilty to the April 2011 murder of Ronald Johnson during a failed escape attempt. Robert asked to be executed and waived his appeals. Monday's execution was orderly and precise.

The attorney who represented Eric Robert in court throughout his murder trial says he’s willing to talk to the family of his client’s victim. Mark Kadi says, before he died of lethal injection, Robert authorized him to discuss some matters with Ron Johnson’s family.

"If certain details are needed, the Johnson family can, if they want to talk with me, they can. If they want to move on, and I hope they move on, they can do that, too."

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Four inmates sit on South Dakota’s death row now that convicted murderer Eric Robert is dead after Monday night’s lethal injection. All inmates who face the death penalty get an opportunity to speak last words.

At one minute after 10 p.m. Monday night in the execution chamber, South Dakota State Penitentiary Warden Doug Weber asked Eric Robert if he had any last words.

Robert replied, “In the name of justice and liberty and mercy, I authorize and forgive Warden Douglas Weber to execute me for my crimes. It is done.”

Kealey Bultena

Family members of murder victim Ronald "RJ" Johnson witnessed Eric Robert’s execution by lethal injection.

Johnson’s widow Lynette says her family knows the perpetrator’s death doesn’t bring back the husband, father, and grandfather taken from them on his birthday in April of last year.

"But we do know that the employees of the Department of Corrections and the public in general will be just a little bit safer now," she says. "We need to have more attention focused on the safety of all correctional officers in the state of South Dakota."

A man convicted of a murder that happened less than two years ago is dead following South Dakota’s first execution in five years.

Last fall, prison inmate Eric Robert was found guilty of killing a corrections officer at the state penitentiary in April of 2011. Monday night, prison staff injected pentobarbital into Robert’s body to kill him.

Michael Winder with the South Dakota Department of Corrections says the lethal injection began at 10:01 p.m.

Eric Robert Execution

Oct 15, 2012

SDPB News Director Cara Hetland is part of the media pool that is covering tonight's execution of Eric Robert.  Robert, 50, pleaded guilty to the April 12, 2011, slaying of a prison guard during a failed escape attempt and asked to be put to death, saying he would kill again.  He is scheduled to die by lethal injection tonight at 10 p.m. at the State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls.  Hetland visits with Dakota Midday host Karl Gehrke.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

At 10 p.m. Monday, one of South Dakota’s death row inmates faces execution. Eric Robert is scheduled to die by lethal injection at the South Dakota State Penitentiary for killing a corrections officer less than two years ago. Although he has appeal available, Robert has never denied his role in the killing and says he won’t fight the penalty.  criminal and legal path to his execution.

SDPB

A South Dakota death row inmate faces lethal injection Monday night. Eric Robert is scheduled to die at 10 p.m. for his role in killing a corrections officer during a failed escape attempt from the state penitentiary. 

Until his death, convicted murderer Eric Robert is in a holding cell, feet away from the execution room where he will die. Robert admitted to beating South Dakota State Penitentiary correctional officer RJ Johnson while he and a fellow inmate tried to escape in April 2011.

South Dakota Peace and Justice Center

Oct 11, 2012

Karl Kroger, President of the South Dakota Peace and Justice Center visits with SDPB's Karl Gehrke about the Center's reaction to two scheduled executions later this month in the state.  Joining Kroger is long-time Peace and Justice Center member Mark Sanderson of Sioux Falls.  Sanderson is organizing the group's vigils which will take place during the scheduled executions of Eric Robert and Donald Moeller.

South Dakota Executions

Oct 11, 2012

Richard Dieter, Executive Director of the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, D.C., discusses the scheduled executions of Eric Robert and Donald Moeller this month.  He also touches on the differences between lethal injection by a single drug process and a three-drug protocol along with the cruel and unusual punishment arguments in South Dakota.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A longtime death row inmate has ended his court battle to delay his execution. Wednesday a federal judge accepted Donald Moeller’s request to throw out his challenge to South Dakota’s lethal injection protocol. That leaves him no options to appeal his death sentence. That’s scheduled for sometime during the week of October 28th.

It’s been more than 22 years since Donald Moeller raped and killed a 9-year-old girl. In October’s federal court hearing, the death row inmate admitted his guilt. 

A long-serving South Dakota death row inmate wants a federal judge to dismiss his case. The case is convicted child killer Donald Moeller’s last chance at appealing his death sentence. A federal judge in Sioux Falls was scheduled to hear the case Thursday, October 4.  

Tuesday Attorney Mark Marshall filed paperwork called a stipulation for dismissal on Donald Moeller’s behalf. It requests a judge dismiss the case Moeller lodged questioning whether South Dakota’s one-drug lethal injection method is cruel and unusual punishment.

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