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Rhines Conviction Upheld By Circuit Court Judge

September 19, 2012, 4:58 PM


A Circuit Court Judge has affirmed the conviction and death sentence for a South Dakota inmate. 

Charles Rhines was sentenced to death by a jury 1993 for the murder of Donnivan Schaeffer committed during the burglary of a Rapid City donut shop. 

The South Dakota and United States Supreme Court affirmed Rhines' conviction in 1996.  After that, Rhines filed state petitions for habeas corpus in 1996 and again in 2002.  A Senate Bill enacted by the South Dakota Legislature in 2012 places reasonable restrictions on repeat habeas corpus appeals and filings.

Rhines' pending petition filed prior to SB 42 is still reviewable by the South Dakota Supreme Court and the federal courts.

Attorney General Marty Jackley says the Trial Court's ruling is an important step in holding Rhines accountable.

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