Death penalty remains intact in South Dakota

PIERRE, S.D.(WNAX)- The South Dakota Senate on Monday decided not to restrict the use of the death penalty. SB 98 would have limited the 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 (rush) of Vermillion says the death penalty isn’t a deterrent.

Senator John Wiik (wick) 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 20-13 vote.

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