Death row inmate claims execution drug violates his rights

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)– An inmate on South Dakota’s death row is making another attempt to delay his execution. Charles Rhines is scheduled to die during the week of November 3.

He was convicted in 1993 for the stabbing death of 22-year-old Donnivan Schaeffer during a Rapid City donut shop burglary.

On Wednesday, Rhines’ attorneys filed paperwork questioning one of the drugs that the state says will be used during his execution. The state plans to use Pentobarbital. In a letter, the assistant attorney general refers to the sedative as an ultra-short-acting barbiturate. Rhines’ attorneys claim it’s a medium-acting barbiturate. They say it violates the law that was in effect when Rhines was convicted.

Rhines’ attorneys say if the state moves forward with the current plan it will violate his statutory and constitutional rights.

South Dakota’s Corrections Department also used Pentobarbital in the executions of Rodney Berget and Eric Robert. They were involved in the attempted prison escape that killed correctional officer Ron R.J. Johnson.

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