Groups gather outside pen to oppose death penalty - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Groups gather outside pen to oppose death penalty

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A couple dozen people are gathering outside the South Dakota State Penitentiary in opposition of the death penalty ahead of Donald Moeller's execution.

Pax Christi co-chair Leona Wieland says people aren't gathering to protest but to pray, sing and sit in quiet. She says the nondenominational Christian group believes in upholding the sacredness of all life.

South Dakotans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty members are hoping to abolish the death penalty in South Dakota through legislative appeal.

Coordinator Travis Schulze says the group doesn't plan to introduce a bill for next year's session because it would likely die in committee. He says the group wants to get churches involved to encourage more conservative legislators to support repeal.

Moeller is convicted in the 1990 slaying of a 9-year-old Becky O'Connell.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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