State Dems politicize execution

Judy Olson and the South Dakota Democrats issued a press release yesterday that was picked up by the Rapid City Journal. Apparently they take issue with the administration making a decision to halt the execution of Elijah Page because of concerns regarding State Law:
Olson Duhamel said the public suspects that the last-minute news conference announcing the stay of the execution of Elijah Page until after the election was politically motivated. Making the stay decision based on so-called new information is deceptive, she said, noting in a news release that "the information Gov. Rounds is referring to has been on the books for 22 years."

"The public needs to know every detail pertaining to this obvious blunder and deserves to know how the state can prevent another such embarrassment," Olson Duhamel said. "The bipartisan, veto-proof committee we propose must have the power to subpoena all evidence and witnesses, and every testimony should be put under oath with no exceptions."

Olson Duhamel asked that the investigating committee be composed of legislators and state's attorneys.

* Two state senators, one appointed by the Senate majority leader and one by the Senate minority leader.

* Two House members, one appointed by the House majority leader and one by the House minority leader.

* Two state's attorneys, one appointed by the Senate Majority Leader and one by the Senate Minority Leader.

Any investigation should not be left to the executive branch, she said.

"No matter how they feel about capital punishment, the people of South Dakota are stunned by the blunders involved in this, and they deserve accountability now, not in the 2007 legislative session," Olson Duhamel said. "This has to be publicly, thoroughly and immediately investigated to give the public answers now, not later. Public trust has been shattered for either Gov. Rounds or Attorney General Long to be in control of an investigation."
Read it all here.

Oh, please. This is just a bit much. "A bipartisan, veto-proof committee?" I'll agree to the call for that one when Democrats are also calling for a bipartisan, veto-proof committee investigation of their PAC activities.


Anonymous said…
PP - If you have an investigation of campaign finance activities in South Dakota, I don't think you would like the results.
Anonymous said…
This is just ridiculous! Even if you believe that Rounds or Long is inept, nobody would be that stupid to wait until the last minute because of political reasons. Knowing full well that most people in this state had no problem with Page's execution, I'm sure they understood what the public's perception would be.
Frankly, I thought it was a good idea to stay it so that we can nail Page's partner Piper. I can see the defense building a case saying that Page was all to blame and since he is no longer alive, nobody will ever know.
What does the SDDP hope to accomplish other than trying to make a political statement?
It's purely sensationalism!
Anonymous said…
1:01 PM - "Nobody would be that stupid." I've heard that said about different situations through the years, and it usually turned out that, yes, someone was that stupid.
It would be difficult to prove that the stay was politically-motivated, but how else can anyone explain why the two-drug problem was not addressed sooner? The only other explanation is negligence on someone's part.
Neither explanation reflects well on the current administration.
Nicholas Nemec said…
It's either negligence or complete incompetence on the part of Mike Rounds and his administration. There have been men on death row in this state for over 10 years. The Legislature has met four times since Rounds has been Governor. Apparently the lights are on but nobody's home.
Anonymous said…
Yep, somebody is that stupid. I'll give you two guesses who it is...

"Apparently the lights are on but nobody's home." - Gotta agree with that statement, and just to clarify things, I'm a Republican!!!
Haggs said…
I don't know. I think both Republicans and Democrats are guilty of politicizing the execution.
Anonymous said…
I love how many anonymous people say bad things about republicans and then say they're republican.

And just to clarify things, I'm writing this as I sit on the moon!!!
Anonymous said…
1:55 PM - Since you're on the moon, maybe you can answer something that I've always wanted to know. Can pigs fly?
Anonymous said…
Anon. 11:32 No but they sure can be hogs.
Anonymous said…
Get real. Rounds called Long and said "Save me Larry!!"

Larry's advice - A stay is the PC/ safe thing to do. Then the next day tell the people a stay does not mean cancellation. I an still tough. Just you wait till next July.

Reality: Governor Rounds blinked. Page is tougher than he thought. Maybe he should have a backup plan in place more than 5 hours ahead of time.

I just wonder if he will open his eyes before the election.
Anonymous said…
Oklahoma executed someone on Tuesday - the same day as Page's scheduled execution. Oklahoma has the same law we have and they have executed 83 people under the law.

Here we have one person who wants to be executed, and a victim's family who wants him executed, and a lying ass governor who makes up problems that don't exist and throws them at the legislature.

Rounds concocts a false story that we can't use 3 drugs under the law, but 10 other states have similar laws and 9 of them use 3 drugs. Then Rounds concocts a different false story about "twitching" if we use only 2 drugs as the law calls for - but the only problem with the story is that the experts say no twitching will occur.

Rounds better take down his billboards that say "Results" because they are a laughingstock to the entire public at this point. Ditto for the billboards that say "Leadership".

If you have faith in the justice system, Governor, lift the stay and let the wheels of justice turn.
Anonymous said…
I doubt the Gov thought a stay would be PC considering that fact that he said he would follow through with the execution post July 1. If he would have commuted the sentence to life in prison, then that would be one thing but he isn't doing the anti-death penalty crowd any real favors.
Yes, other states do have 2 drugs in the law even though they use 3 but Larry Long said early on that this practice was "arguabaly" illegal. The fact is that this has NEVER been legally challenged and the Moeller defense team plans on challenging it. Let's say their challenge wins and "boom" that opens up the state to a lawsuit because we decided because other states have gotten away with it, that we can too.
The notion that Rounds is passing the buck doesn't make sense. The legislature doesn't have the power to change the sentence unless they outlaw the death penalty which nobody expects. The legislature will make appropriate changes and the scum bag will die anyway.
Anonymous said…
Apparently the fear of lawsuits is a selective fear ... ie: the abortion bill which everyone knew would be challenged!
Anonymous said…
We all know that Larry Long was in favor of going through with the execution. Rounds is dragging him into this and making him look like an idiot with this ridiculous claim of "discovering" a problem a few hours before the execution.

Rounds' reasons for delay are absolute BS, but Long can't say that because he and Rounds are on the same political team. I bet Long is just fuming, and rightfully so.
Anonymous said…
Here's the good thing about the Oklahoma law:

"If the execution of the sentence of death as provided in subsections A and B of this section is held unconstitutional by an appellate court of competent jurisdiction, then the sentence of death shall be carried out by firing squad."

Even if a court says 2 or 3 drugs is no good, OK doesn't plan on waiting for the next legislative session.

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