A federal hearing on the constitutionality of South Dakota's one-drug capital punishment procedure will go on as planned Thursday, and convicted killer Donald Moeller will be there.
Judge Lawrence Piersol, faced with an apparent attorney tug-of-war in the case, ruled Wednesday that Moeller must be present to determine whether he agrees with attorney Mark Marshall's filing to dismiss the case.
Attorneys with the federal public defender's office in Little Rock, Ark., have been representing Moeller in the federal case. They contend that the execution method that will likely use pentobarbital violates the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
The 60-year-old Moeller is to be executed in late October or early November in the 1990 killing of 9-year-old Becky O'Connell.
Piersol canceled a scheduled viewing of the execution chambers Thursday.