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South Dakota Readies for 2 Executions in Next 3 Weeks

Lethal Injection (FILE)
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – The South Dakota State Penitentiary is readying for two executions in the next three weeks, barring last-minute legal twists involving inmates who have said they’re ready to die.

Eric Robert is scheduled to be put to death sometime next week. The exact day won’t be released until 48 hours prior to the execution.

Robert pleaded guilty to the April 2011 beating and suffocation of prison guard Ronald “R.J.” Johnson, for whom the prison’s training center is now named.

Donald Moeller is expected to be put to death in the week beginning Oct. 28. Moeller was convicted in the 1990 kidnapping, rape and murder of 9-year-old Becky O’Connell.

Moeller’s last legal hurdle lies with a federal judge who’s been asked to determine whether the state’s one-drug capital punishment procedure is constitutional.

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Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Material may not be redistributed.

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