South Dakota judge weighs execution for 27-year-old homicide

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KELO scales of justice court

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – A South Dakota judge will hear arguments on whether to set an execution date for a man convicted of stabbing a former co-worker to death 27 years ago during a burglary at a doughnut shop.
    
The South Dakota Attorney General’s Office says in a court filing that Charles Rhines “has eluded justice for 27 years” and it’s time for his execution to be carried out in early November. Judge Robert Mandel will hear arguments Tuesday morning from prosecutors and Rhines’ attorney before deciding.
    
Rhines was convicted of premeditated first-degree murder in the death of 22-year-old Donnivan Schaeffer, who was stabbed in the stomach, back and skull.
    
Rhines’ attorney says the execution should be delayed because Rhines has two pending lawsuits, including one challenging the state’s lethal injection protocol.
 

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