Judge: Moeller Can Dismiss Federal Challenge
by Associated Press
October 10, 2012 10:34 AM
A judge is allowing a South Dakota death row inmate to dismiss his case challenging the constitutionality of South Dakota's execution protocol, clearing the way for his upcoming execution.
Donald Moeller is set to die the week of Oct. 28 for the 1990 slaying of 9-year-old Becky O'Connell. He wrote Judge Lawrence Piersol from the state penitentiary on Tuesday saying he no longer wants to be represented by Arkansas-based federal public defenders and wants the federal case bearing his name dismissed.
The Arkansas attorneys say Moeller is incompetent and incapable of making voluntary and rational decisions. They wanted to press forward with arguments.
The case has focused on whether South Dakota's use of the lethal injection drug pentobarbital in a one-drug method would inflict cruel and unusual punishment.