South Dakota governor not planning to stop inmate execution

Governor Kristi Noem says she does not plan to stop the execution of a death row inmate who claims jurors were biased against him because he's gay.

The American Civil Liberties Union is urging Noem to grant clemency to Charles Rhines. The 62-year-old Rhines was convicted in the 1992 stabbing death of a doughnut shop employee in Rapid City.

In a statement to the Associated Press, Noem said Wednesday that she agrees with the state Board of Pardons and Paroles, which denied clemency for Rhines in December.

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected Rhines' appeal twice. The latest decision was last month.

If the execution is not halted, the state intends to put Rhines to death in November. It would be South Dakota's first execution since Rodney Berget's lethal injection in October.

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