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Eric Robert: The 17th Person Executed In SD

October 15, 2012, 10:04 PM by Don Jorgensen

Eric Robert: The 17th Person Executed In SD

Eric Robert's execution is the 17th in South Dakota's history and it won't be the last.

The state executed 15 men between 1877 and 1947. The first was Jack McCall, killer of Wild Bill Hickok.

The death penalty was temporarily abolished in 1915. It was reinstated, however, in 1933 and the electric chair became the sole method.

Only one person was ever electrocuted in South Dakota. That was George Sitts in 1947, who killed a special agent and a county sheriff. 

From 1977 to 1979, South Dakota abolished the death penalty based on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision.  But then was reinstated by the legislature in 1979.

Sitts was the last execution until Elijah Page in July of 2007, who killed Chester Allan Poage. Page died by lethal injection.

There are now four men who are on death row awaiting execution. They are Donald Moeller, Charles Rhines, Briley Piper and Rodney Berget. Moeller is scheduled to die in two weeks and Berget is currently appealing his sentence to the South Dakota Supreme Court.

Click here if you'd like to read more about South Dakota's death penalty cases.

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