7 days before death, Robert writes to AG - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

7 days before death, Robert writes to AG

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Tuesday, we got a first look at the letter from Eric Robert sent, last week, to South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley.

In the letter, Robert expresses disappointment at aspects of the process concerning death row inmates. He also makes suggestions for delivering swift justice.

It was a 3-page letter that Robert sent last Monday, written one week before he was put to death.

He commends the state for its decision while he asks the Attorney General to review the death penalty laws in the name of victims and their families.

50 year-old Eric Robert commended the Attorney General for his professionalism of this case against Robert on behalf of the state and the Johnson family.

He writes: "I disagree with some conclusions and tactics you employed... However, we did agree on the main point; that, in this case, my actions deserved the penalty of death."

"Eric Robert was an intelligent man and he accepts responsibility and he didn't put the victim's family through 20 years of appeals and I give him that credit," Attorney General Marty Jackley said.

In the letter, Robert says that should be changed.

He pled guilty and asked for a death sentence, objecting to what he called the state's decision to treat the mandatory review, or sentence, as an appeal.

Robert calls capital punishment unique, saying victims and families only receive justice through incarceration in non-death penalty cases. When sentenced to death, justice only comes at the point of execution.

He stresses there should be no delay. That, Robert writes, will allow the family to begin their healing.

Jackley agrees.

"The focus also needs to be on RJ Johnson and his family and other female victims that Eric Robert harmed and think the public saw that through the sentencing phase," Jackley said.

Robert writes: "I do not want to or desire to die. I deserve to die. This is what I  have always stated."

In the letter, Robert hopes to influence change in the way the state carries out the death penalty. He says, it's not about him, it's about ensuring that in uncontested cases, the state needs to give families of victims their justice, quickly.

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