Rhines execution-drug appeal denied - KOTA Territory News

Rhines execution-drug appeal denied


Seventh circuit Judge Thomas Trimble has rejected Charles Russell Rhines' constitutional challenge to South Dakota's method of execution.
Rhines is on death row for the 1992 murder of Donnivan Schaeffer in Rapid City.

He filed a habeas corpus action claiming that South Dakota's protocol violated constitutional rights against cruel and unusual punishment.

South Dakota currently uses a single dose of pentobarbital to carry out executions.

This protocol was used in the October 2012 executions of Donald Eugene Moeller and Eric Donald Robert, that were witnesses by the media.
"The Court's decision affirms that the state has taken precaution in drafting and implementing its lethal injection protocol to assure that it meets constitutional requirements," said Jackley. "Today's decision is an important step forward in carrying out the jury and court's decision and holding Charles Rhines accountable for his horrific actions from over 20 years ago."

"Lethal injection is the most humane manner of implementing the death penalty," the Court wrote in its opinion. The Court concluded that "South Dakota's lethal injection protocol is substantially similar to, and in many respects more protective than" the protocol approved by the United States Supreme Court and, therefore, is "constitutional on its face."
Rhines can appeal Judge Trimble's decision to the South Dakota Supreme Court and then to the federal courts.

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