South Dakota hadn’t executed anyone since 2007—until Monday. And now the state is poised to kill another person next week. From the Duluth News Tribune‘s “South Dakota executes former Superior man who killed guard”:
Eric Robert, 50, received lethal injection and was pronounced dead at the state penitentiary in Sioux Falls. He is the first South Dakota inmate to die under the state’s new single-drug lethal injection method, and only the 17th person to be executed in the state or Dakota Territory since 1877.
Robert had no expression on his face. Asked by the Warden if he had a last statement, Robert said, “In the name of justice and liberty and mercy, I authorize and forgive Warden Douglas Weber to execute me for the crimes. It is done.”
As the drug was administered, the clean-shaven Robert, wearing orange inmate pants with a white blanket wrapped around his upper body, appeared to be clearing his throat and then began to make heavy gasps. He started snoring for about 30 seconds. His eyes remained opened throughout and his skin turned pale, eventually gaining a purplish hue…
Robert was put to death in the same prison where he killed guard Ronald “RJ” Johnson during an escape attempt on April 12, 2011. Robert was serving an 80-year sentence on a kidnapping conviction when he tried to break out with fellow inmate Rodney Berget, 50…
Robert’s execution could be the first of two in as many weeks. Donald Moeller is scheduled to be put to death the week of Oct. 28 for the 1990 kidnapping, rape and murder of a 9-year-old girl. Robert had been on death row only for about a year, Moeller has been there for more than two decades. Only three other inmates currently are on the state’s death row.
Photo: Courtesy KSFY