sioux falls, sd
South Dakota has executed its seventeenth inmate.
The coroner pronounced Eric Robert dead at 10:24 Monday night, more than 18 months after he killed Correctional Officer Ronald 'RJ' Johnson during a failed escape attempt.
This was the first time South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley and Robert's attorney, Mark Kadi, had witnessed an execution.
It was also the first time South Dakota used only one drug in its lethal injection procedure.
Jackley had been defending the one-drug procedure in court and says witnessing Robert's execution was proof that the state's lethal injection protocol is quick and humane.
Kadi joined Robert for his last meal of ice cream and said Robert was calm, rational and prepared in the days, weeks and hours leading up to the execution. He says the death penalty is what Robert wanted compared to the sentencing he was serving.
"The difference between a death and a life sentence was that a life sentence didn't have a set date and he wanted a set date, and he got what he wanted," Kadi said.
"I truly hope that this sentence will assist the Johnson family and the other Robert female victims in the healing process. But it will ensure the safety of other correction officers and other inmates," Jackley said.
Tonight on KELOLAND News, we'll hear more from Jackley about the one-drug execution procedure South Dakota used. We'll also hear from Kadi about why he's concerned this case could could be a "road map" for other inmates.