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(SD)-Rhines Loses 2 Appeals, Execution Still Set For Nov 3-9

By: John Axtell Posted at: 10/26/2019 03:20 PM
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota death row inmate Charles Russell Rhines of Rapid City, set to be executed early next month for the fatal stabbing over a quarter-century ago of a young doughnut shop worker in Rapid City, lost two appeals on Friday - one in state court and one in federal court.

     First, the South Dakota Supreme Court denied both Rhines' request to delay his execution the week of Nov. 3-9 and his challenge of the state's written policy on the method and procedures for carrying out executions

    Then the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed Rhines' request to meet with mental health experts to prepare a clemency application. The three-judge appeals panel said the question of whether Rhines deserves clemency should be decided by South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem.

     State Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg praised the decisions, saying they bring the case "closer to both justice and closure for the family of Donnivan Schaeffer," fatally stabbed by Rhines during a March 1992 burglary at the donut shop that had fired him a short time earlier.
 
    Rhines still has one pending challenge - a claim that the use of the drug pentobarbital in his execution is illegal because it wasn't part of the drug package in effect when he was sentenced to death.  A different court is scheduled to hear that challenge Tuesday.
 
     Rhines was sentenced to death for stabbing the 22-year-old Schaeffer in the chest and back, then taking him to another part of the store where he inflicted the killing blow by driving the knife blade into the spinal column at the base of the neck despite Schaeffer's pleas for mercy.


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