One More Domino Falls in the Fate of Prison Guard Killer Rodney Berget
The U.S. Supreme Court rules against the second of two men convicted of killing South Dakota Penitentiary guard Ronald Johnson. This continues the slow march toward Rodney Berget’s execution.
Attorney General Marty Jackley issued via press release the high court’s decision on Monday. Berget was sentenced to die for his role in killing State Penitentiary guard Ronald Johnson during an April 2011 escape attempt. Berget is to die by lethal injection the week of May 3.
Jackley’s statement in full says, “The United States Supreme Court has denied Rodney Berget’s request to overturn his convction and capital sentence for the murder of Correctional Officer Ronald ‘RJ’ Johnson. I believe due process has been satisfied and that the interest of justice has been served."
Recalling the original death sentence was handed down in February of 2012. However, the South Dakota Supreme Court reversed the original sentence due to a potential self-incrimination factor.
The re-sentencing hearing did not address the self-incrimination. Rather, Berget chose to implement new evidence regarding a family commitment. The strategy failed and Berget will die in approximately two months.