South Dakota Senate rejects idea of more restrictive death penalty (Audio)

February 9, 20201

PIERRE, S.D.–The South Dakota Senate has voted to not restrict the use of the death penalty. Senate Bill 98 would have limited the death sentence to cases of First Degree Murder of a law enforcement officer, corrections employee or firefighter while in the line of duty.

Bill sponsor, Senator Art Rusch of Vermillion says the death penalty isn’t a deterrent…..

Senator John Wiik of Big Stone City says its an important tool for police and prosecutors….

Senator Timothy Johns of Lead says the state should do away with the penalty all together….

The bill was defeated on a vote of 13 in favor, but 20 against.

Rusch, a former circuit judge, has sponsored several bills seeking limits on the death penalty over the past few sessions.