South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley and Eric Robert's attorney, Mark Kadi, both witnessed Monday night’s execution.
For both attorneys, it was the first time they had seen a death sentence carried out, and both men had different reactions.
"The staff at the Department of Corrections carried out a very humane and constitutionally sound execution. It occurred in a matter of seconds and it appeared to be very humane," Jackley said.
Jackley says the experience made him more confident in South Dakota's new one-drug lethal injection protocol. Jackley's office has been defending the procedure during Donald Moeller's federal appeal as a quick, painless and effective way to carry out a death sentence.
"What occurred in this case demonstrates why other states are going to Pentobarbital because it is one drug. It is easier to administer. It is easier to compound and it's less likely for problems," Jackley said.
Robert's attorney, Mark Kadi, wasn't required to be at the execution but said he felt like he needed to be there. Kadi shared Robert's last meal before the admitted killer started fasting for 40 hours. Kadi says the case was unique because Robert asked him not to argue against execution because he wanted a set date for the end of his prison term. Kadi says the case concerns him.
"What concerns me is this case may be a road map for other people. I see people like Donald Moeller dropping his appeals and I think people are starting to realize life in the penitentiary isn't life," Kadi said.
Kadi says when Robert found out the date of the execution, he was calm and rational as he prepared for his death and made it a point to forgive Warden Doug Weber during his final statement Monday night.
"That's the one thing left for him to do. It may seem like a minor and odd point for everybody else, but from the perspective of a man who has seconds left, the last thing he wanted to do was forgive the man who was causing his execution, causing his death," Kadi said.
Robert’s final statement was, "I authorize and forgive Warden Douglas Weber to execute me for my crimes. It is done."
Kadi said Robert's main fault was his anger and controlling personality. He said it even came out when the Supreme Court was delaying his execution during its mandatory review, but after a date was set, the anger subsided.