Berget Execution on Hold with Just Days Left before Date with Fate
Time has been Rodney Berget’s enemy as the State of South Dakota planned to administer the death penalty for his crime. An early May date with death may have to wait.
A press release was sent late Thursday evening from Attorney General Marty Jackley stating that Circuit Court Judge Douglas Hoffman has issued a stay of the warrant of execution of Rodney Berget. The stoppage is based upon Berget’s request and filing of the habeas petition.
The Court has further requested the parties to prepare a proposed scheduling order in relation to the habeas proceedings. Jackley stands firm with the case and the sentence. “It remains that State’s position that due process has been satisfied and the interest of justice requires these proceedings to move forward in a timely fashion,” said Jackley.
Berget admitted guilt for his role in the death of prison guard Ronald “R.J.” Johnson on April 12, 2011. In February 2012, Judge Brad Zell sentenced Berget to death for the crime, but was overturned on a technicality. The death sentence was imposed again by the same judge in May 2013.
Eric Robert who was also sentenced to death for Johnson’s murder was executed in 2012. The two men were trying to escape the South Dakota State Penitentiary.