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Lawyer Appeals Sentence To SD Supreme Court

October 1, 2012, 1:24 PM

Lawyer Appeals Sentence To SD Supreme Court

A lawyer for a South Dakota man sentenced to death for killing a prison guard says the state Supreme Court should overturn the ruling because his client was not given a fair trial in the penalty phase of the case.

Lawyer Jeff Larson argued before the South Dakota Supreme Court on Monday that the sentencing hearing for 50-year-old Rodney Berget was skewed because it came after Judge Brad Zell had already sentenced another inmate to death in the case.

Berget and 50-year-old Eric Robert had pleaded guilty in the April 2011 killing of prison guard Ronald Johnson during a botched prison escape.

Attorney General Marty Jackley argued that Berget repeatedly waived his right to a jury trial.

The court will make its decision at a later date.

Click on the play button below to watch the hearing.

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