Inside The Execution Chamber
by Jeff Rusack, Reporter
October 09, 2012 5:31 PM
South Dakota has gone without an execution for six years. But, within the next month, there will be two.
The execution of Eric Robert will happen sometime next week. The department of corrections will let the public know about two days in advance of when the execution will happen.
Eric Robert will spend his last day a small cell, in the same building where he murdered a prison guard on his way to escape.
A simple bed, sink, and a pair of shower shoes will be some of the last amenities he will enjoy.
When it's time for Robert to walk his final walk next week, the distance will be short. Only two small holding cells separate him from the execution chamber.
In the chamber a bed sits diagonally in the center of the room with a strap for each arm and five for the body. On each wall is a clock. Five windows surround the bed. Four windows labeled A through D will hold groups of witnesses, which will be brought in separately into four different rooms. Behind the large mirrored window is the chemical room, where the poison that will kill Robert will be kept.
While there is no phone in the chamber, the Department of Corrections says there are a number of direct lines from the warden to the Governor, Attorney General and the Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court.
A microphone overhead will record any last words and everything that is said in the room.
There will be two people in the room with Robert when the execution happens: the warden and one correction staff member, recording the time everything happens.
When everything is set and ready, Eric Robert's punishment will be carried out.
When the warden believes enough time has passed the county corner will enter the chamber to determine if Robert is dead.
Both Robert and Moeller will have their last meal in the short hallway that separates the cell to the execution chamber.