South Dakotans for 
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Editorial: Another Blow To Death Penalty
The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced last week its review of old criminal cases has found as many as 27 death penalty convictions that might have been based on invalid scientific testimony. Read more. 

New Execution Date for Rodney Berget
Attorney General Marty Jackley announced the execution of Rodney Berget the week of Jan 12, 2014. Berget plead guilty to the murder of Rodney Johnson, a prison officer, in Sioux Falls. A judge sentenced Berget to death, but the SD Supreme Court overturned the sentence ruling that Circuit Judge Brad Zell improperly considered a statement Berget made to a psychiatrist. Berget then sought a new sentencing hearing in front of a jury. Zell denied that request and resentenced him in May. The exact date of the execution will be determined by the warden of the South Dakota State Penitentiary. (Source: Sioux City Journal)

Rodney Berget's Death Sentence Overturned
Jan. 3--The South Dakota Supreme Court has overturned Rodney Berget's death sentence because the judge who sentenced him to die improperly considered a statement made to a psychiatrist. The statement was made during a competency evaluation, and it violated Berget's right to be free from self-incrimination. Berget pled guilty to killing correctional officer Ronald "R.J." Johnson in April of 2011.

Donald Moeller executed
Oct. 31 -- Donald Moeller was pronounced dead at 10:24 pm on Tuesday, Oct. 30 2012, making him the 18th person executed in South Dakota history, the 3rd since the death penalty was reinstated in South Dakota in 1977, and the second this year, following Eric Robert two weeks ago (see below).  Moeller's last words were reportedly, "Hear my fan club?" referring to the echoes of cheers from SD State Penitentiary inmates as he was put to death beginning at 10:00 pm. South Dakotans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, along with the South Dakota Peace & Justice Center and Pax Christi, held a vigil against capital punishment outside the State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls, SD, where the execution was carried out. Moeller was sentenced to die for the 1990 rape and murder of 9-year-old Becky O'Connell.

Pres. Carter Calls for End to Death Penalty
Former President Jimmy Carter recently wrote an op-ed supporting the abolition of the death penalty throughout the United States. Carter cites the fact that only 1% of police chiefs think expanding the death penalty would reduce crime. The former president also claims that North Dakota, which does not have the death penalty, has a lower murder rate than our state of South Dakota. He also presents the fact that most prominent Christian denominations support ending the death penalty.

"There is a field beyond our differences; I will meet you there." Rumi

"Violence is what happens when people don't know what to do with their suffering." Parker Palmer

"If you do not forgive other people, you will not be forgiven. You can only receive what you yourself give." J
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