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Attorney General Marty Jackley

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South Dakota Supreme Court Denies Motions to Stay Berget Execution

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   Monday, October 29, 2018

CONTACT:  Sara Rabern (605) 773-3215




PIERRE, S.D. –  Attorney General Marty Jackley confirms today that two separate motions have been filed in the South Dakota Supreme Court to stay the execution of Rodney Berget. Berget, while serving two life sentences for attempted first degree murder and the kidnapping and rape of a store clerk, murdered Correctional Officer Ronald ‘RJ’ Johnson during a failed escape from the state penitentiary.


The first motion was filed by Karen Lopez challenging South Dakota law relating to the method of execution. The South Dakota Supreme Court has denied the Lopez motion to stay.


The second motion was filed by Juliet Yackel challenging Berget’s competency and intellectual capacity which would made him ineligible for capital punishment. The South Dakota Supreme Court has denied the Yackel motion to stay.


Attorney General Jackley has been in contact with the United States Supreme Court and confirms that there are currently no court orders to delay or stay the Berget execution scheduled for 1:30 p.m. (CDT) today.