By DAVE KOLPACK and JAMES NORD, Associated Press SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – An embedded death in South Dakota was conducted…
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – An embedded death in South Dakota was conducted Monday to kill a prison guard in a failed flight seven years ago in state first practice since 2012.
Rodney Berget, 56, was killed for the 2011 death of Ronald R.J. Johnson, fought with a tube and had his head covered with plastic wrap at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls. It was the fourth state of the state since it resumed the death penalty in the late 1970s and the first since 2012.
The mountain served a lifetime for attempted murder and kidnapping when he and another prisoner, Eric Robert, attacked Johnson on April 1
2, 2011, in a part of the punishment area called Pheasantland Industries, where prisoners work on clothing, signs, furniture and other projects. After Johnson succeeded, Robert put on Johnson’s pants, hat and jacket and drove a carriage loaded with two drawers, one with the Mountain inside toward the exits. They did it outside a gate but were stopped by another guard before they could complete their escape through a second gate. The mountain allowed its role in slaying.
Robert was executed on October 15, 2012. The last performance in South Dakota was October 30, 2012.
Berg’s mental status and death penalty justified played a role in court delays. The mountain in 2016 appealed his death sentence, but later requested to withdraw the appeal of the lawyers’ council. The mountain wrote to a judge who said he believed that the death penalty would be reversed and that he could not imagine “adding another 30 years to a cage that made a lifetime”.
Johnson was killed on his 63th birthday and when he approached the end of an almost 24-year career as a guard.
His widow, Lynette Johnson, sits down RJ’s wedding ring and now carries it next to her own; she keeps her watch – her hands frozen at the time he was attacked – in a clear case next to pictures above her fireplace.
“He was so nice,” she told Argus Leader. “He did not have a bad word to say about anyone.”
The Ministry of Justice planned to use a single drug. The policy requires either sodium thiopental or pentobarbital. Pentobarbital was used in the state’s last two executions.
South Dakota has had no trouble getting the drugs it needs, as some other states may have, perhaps because the state boasts certain details in confidentiality. Legislators in 2013 approved to hide their suppliers’ identities.
A subsequent media information with witnesses would be held in prison at a security training academy named after Johnson after his death.
Berget was the second member of his family to be executed. His older brother, Roger, was executed in Oklahoma in 2000 to kill a man to steal his car.
For the latest updates on Berg’s performance: https://bit.ly/2JmEL7S