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June 04, 2012 11:11 AM

US Supreme Court Upholds Moeller's Sentence

The United States Supreme Court has upheld Donald Moeller's rape and murder conviction and sentence in the 1990 death of 9-year-old Becky O'Connell in Sioux Falls.

Moeller was tried twice in South Dakota and in both cases, which included Moeller's DNA as evidence, juries found the death penalty was appropriate.  On April 25, he appealed his sentencing claiming the sentencing jury needed more instruction from the court on what "life without parole" means.

Attorney General Marty Jackley filed a response on May 7 arguing the instructions fully complied with settled law and constitutional standards and the US Supreme Court affirmed the conviction.

"The highest court in the land has spoken," Attorney General Marty Jackley said in a statement. "Becky O'Connell suffered unimaginably before she died at the hands of Donald Moeller. Moeller has received 22 years of due process, justice for Becky and her family is overdue."

Moeller is also challenging the method of execution which is pending in federal court in Sioux Falls.

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  • Sioux Falls, SD
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