(SD)-Appeal Of Longtime Death Row Inmate To Continue
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A South Dakota Circuit Judge says a man who has spent 16 years on death row for a gruesome murder in the Black Hills should be allowed to go forward with his latest appeal.
The issuing of a probable cause certificate by Judge Eric Strawn doesn't mean he agrees with Briley Piper's claim that his constitutional rights were violated, in part because of ineffective counsel, only that his case is strong enough that it should be heard.
Piper, Elijah Page, and Darrell Hoadley were all convicted of torturing and killing Chester Allan Poage in remote Higgins Gulch near Spearfish in order to rob his mother's home.
Page said in a taped confession that they ordered Poage to remove his clothes, told him he was going to died, and killed him as he begged for his life...stabbing him multiple times before crushing his head with large rocks.
Hoadley and Page both went to trial and were convicted. Page was executed in July 2007 while Hoadley is serving life without parole. Piper pleaded guilty, but was still sentenced to death.
State Attorney General Marty Jackley says cases such as Piper's take up too much time in the legal system and he's doing his best to move them all forward and give the families of the victims - and their communities - closure.
Jackley says the criminal justice system needs to do a better job of making sure than in protecting the rights of defendants, there also justice for victims.
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