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A bill to end the death penalty in South Dakota dies in committee

Death Penalty
Death Penalty
Leonard Eberly (Download MP3)
Lynette Johnson (Download MP3)

Pierre, SD (KELO-AM) Choking back tears, Lynette Johnson, whose state prison guard husband, Ron, was murdered by inmates, begged a House Committee Friday not to abolish the death penalty in South Dakota.

An emotional Johnson argued that murderers and rapists in prison can still get letters and visitors and all she gets his photos and memories.

But Leonard Eberly of Rapid City, who lost a son to murder, urged lawmakers to end the death penalty. He said he only found peace after he was able to forgive.

Friday's testimony was long, sincere, and often emotional, but in the end the House State Affairs Committee narrowly rejected the bill, 7-6.