Attorneys hope to argue SD execution protocol case

DIRK LAMMERS Associated Press Published:

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- Arkansas attorneys ready to challenge the constitutionality of South Dakota's newly adopted one-drug execution protocol face an unexpected obstacle: their own client.

Donald Moeller says he's ready to die for the 1990 slaying of 9-year-old Becky O'Connell. He wants the federal case bearing his name dismissed.

The attorneys say Moeller's incompetent and incapable of making voluntary and rational decisions. They want to press forward with arguments.

The case focuses on whether South Dakota's use of the lethal injection drug pentobarbital would inflict cruel and unusual punishment.

Moeller is scheduled to be executed between Oct. 28 and Nov. 3, with the exact date and time up to prison officials.