The South Dakota Supreme Court has denied Rodney Berget's Petition requesting a new Supreme Court hearing in relation to the murder of Correctional Officer Ronald " RJ" Johnson.
In January, Berget filed a petition for an additional hearing before the Supreme Court. He alleges that the high court misunderstood the law as it pertained to his case.
A new sentencing hearing is still pending. Berget's death sentence was overturned by the State Supreme Court. Justices said the circuit judge who sentenced Berget to die improperly considered a statement he made to a psychiatrist.
In a news release, Attorney General Marty Jackley said the state had presented substantial aggravating evidence that demonstrated ‘the heinousness of the crime as well as Berget's extensive criminal history, hopeless chance of rehabilitation, and multiple attempts of escape.'
"The Supreme Court has issued a thorough and well-reasoned opinion affirming that the overwhelming majority of the evidence was appropriately considered. The single remaining issue surrounding the psychological evaluation may now be ‘conducted on the existing record," Jackley said.