Donald Moeller’s federal death penalty appeal has been dismissed.
In a written ruling filed Wednesday, federal Judge Lawrence Piersol said that he believes Moeller ‘is competent to dismiss’ the federal appeal challenging South Dakota’s lethal injection procedures.
Last week, Moeller asked Judge Piersol to dismiss the action, which will pave the way for Moeller to be executed during the week of October 28.
During the October 4 court hearing, Moeller was questioned by Piersol for a half hour about the dismissal. During that time, Moeller admitted for the first time that he kidnapped, raped and killed nine-year-old Becky O’Connell in May of 1990. He also outlined how the lethal injection would be carried out and acknowledged that giving up his federal appeal would allow the state of South Dakota to execute him.
In his decision Piersol said, ‘The Court finds that Moeller has the capacity to appreciate his position and make a rational choice,’ when it comes to dismissing the federal appeal.
Moeller’s court-appointed public defenders had argued that Moeller was not competent to drop the case.