Rodney Berget requests new sentencing hearing - KOTA Territory News

Rodney Berget requests new sentencing hearing

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Rodney Berget was sentenced to death as an accomplice for the murder of a South Dakota Prison Guard in the spring of 2011; but now he's requesting a new sentencing hearing.

Berget, 50, wants a new sentencing hearing in front of a jury instead of a judge.

The request from Berget's lawyers to the Second Circuit Court in Sioux Falls comes after Berget established a relationship with his adult son.

In court documents filed last week, his lawyers say just three days after Berget was sentenced to die two people came forward on behalf of Berget's 31 year old son.

His lawyers write the death row inmate has now established a "meaningful relationship with his son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren".

Berget wants these new relationships to be presented to a jury as evidence against execution.

But During Berget's sentencing, he waived his right to be sentenced by a jury.

Attorney General Marty Jackley opposes the request, stating "Berget's demand for hearing apparently concedes that he ignored his son for 31 years, until February 12, 2012. Prior to that date Berget was apparently not moved enough by the prospect of a relationship with his son to reach out to him so much as once."

Berget was sentenced to death in February 2012 for killing correctional officer Ron Johnson during a failed prison escape.

His accomplice, Eric Robert was executed by lethal injection last October.

 

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