Thursday, 8 February 2007

Death Penalty Bill Advances

Death Penalty Bill Advances


The state House of Representatives has approved a measure that would clear the way for South Dakota to hold its first execution in nearly six decades.

The bill was suggested by Governor Mike Rounds to take care of a problem that caused him to call off the scheduled execution of convicted murderer Elijah Page in August.

Rounds postponed Page's execution because state law required the use of two specific drugs for lethal injection in South Dakota, but prison officials intended to add a third drug to the mix. That three-drug mix is the common practice in other states that use lethal injection to carry out the death penalty.

The bill approved by the House would remove the legal reference to specific kinds of drugs. It would allow state prison officials to determine the substances to be used in an execution.

The measure next goes to the Senate. HB1175

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