FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : Friday, February 24, 2012
CONTACT: Sara Rabern, (605) 773-3215
Warrant of Execution for Rodney Berget Issued
PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that the warrant of execution for Rodney Scott Berget has been issued by Second Circuit Court Judge Bradley Zell. Berget is scheduled to be executed between the hours of 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m., during the week of Sunday, September 9, 2012, through Saturday, September 15, 2012, inclusive, at a specific time and date to be selected by the Warden of the State Penitentiary.
Pursuant to South Dakota law, there is an automatic appeal whereby the record of the proceedings will be forwarded to the South Dakota Supreme Court to determine whether the sentence of death was properly imposed; whether the evidence at trial supports the Judge’s finding of at least one statutory aggravating factor; and whether the sentence of death is excessively disproportionate to the penalty imposed in similar cases, considering both the crime and the defendant. South Dakota law further provides that, "The Governor may make such investigation of the case as the Governor may deem proper and may require the assistance of the attorney general." Both the Supreme Court and the Governor have the authority to suspend the execution of sentence scheduled by the trial judge until their respective reviews are complete.