Daugaard: "I Support The Death Penalty" - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Daugaard: "I Support The Death Penalty"

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 If James McVay is put to death within the next 9 months, it will mark the third time during Governor Dennis Daugaard's first term in office that someone will be put to death in South Dakota.
 We wanted to know the governor's thoughts concerning the death penalty.
 We sat down with him Tuesday afternoon.

 Our conversation was frank and to the point, with Governor Daugaard telling me being the chief executive of a state that utilizes a death penalty is a tough position to be in. "I support the death penalty. I don't relish being in office when the death penalty is carried out."

 On Daugaard's watch, the state has carried out the death penalty twice....Eric Robert and Donald Moeller...both of whom were executed in October of 2012 within 15 days of each other. "It does weigh on a person. In both cases where we've carried out the death penalty during the time I have been in office I've been at my office during the time that the penalty was being carried out in case anything would arise at the last minute."

 Daugaard tells me it is a fine line, balancing duty with the tough job of taking a life in the name of justice. "The death penalty is and should be reserved for the very most serious and heinous crimes and for those criminals that are themselves very...a great danger to society both outside the prison walls and inside the prison walls."

 Donald Moeller killed a little girl.
 Eric Robert killed corrections officer R-J Johnson during a failed escape from the state penitentiary.
 And now James McVay, who admitted murdering Maybelle Schein in her own home.
 Each of them a horrific crime.
 Each of them a decision...that killing them would keep society safer.
 Each of them....on the Governor's watch. "Again....its not something one does lightly."

 The Governor calls the death penalty an "unfortunate thing" but adds he believes it is necessary because of the violent nature of some of the criminal element in today's society.

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