FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : Monday, May 7, 2012
CONTACT: Sara Rabern, (605) 773-3215
State Responds to Moeller’s Petition to U.S. Supreme Court
PIERRE, S.D. – Today Attorney General Marty Jackley filed a brief in the United States Supreme Court arguing that the court should affirm Donald Moeller’s 1997 conviction and sentence for the rape and murder of a 9-year-old Sioux Falls girl.
On April 25, 2012, Moeller petitioned the court to overturn his conviction. Moeller’s petition claims include that the sentencing jury required further instruction from the court on the meaning of the term “life without parole” before it could sentence him to death.
The state’s response brief asks the U.S. Supreme Court to deny Moeller’s petition because the instructions in Moeller’s case fully comply with settled law and constitutional standards.
“Two juries of South Dakota citizens have heard the facts of this case and both unanimously decided that Moeller’s crime warranted a death sentence,” said Jackley. “Twenty-two years and seven appeals to hold Moeller accountable and to await justice for Becky and her family is clearly too long.”