In 1992, Donald Moeller was convicted of kidnapping O’Connell from a Sioux Falls convenience store, driving her to a secluded area near the Big Sioux River, and then raping her before stabbing her and slashing her throat. Her naked body was found the next day.
He was convicted a second time in 1997, after the original conviction was overturned due to improper evidence was used at trial, and he was sentenced to death. So for the last 22 years Moeller has sat on death row on the taxpayers’ dime while his appeals ran their course. During this time he says he watches the news, reads the paper, writes and watches old movies.
Part of the the delay in his execution wasn’t just because of his appeals, but because of the method of execution used in South Dakota that has left Moeller’s state-court lawyer fighting with Arkansas-based federal public defenders. Because the state purchased a stock of sodium thiopental from a company in India, Moeller’s federal public defenders have challenged the quality of the product, contending that the method of using only pentobarbital will cause pain and violates the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
Moeller has went along with this until recently when, for reasons only known to him, he had a change of heart and has asked that all methods to halt his execution be stopped. Attorney Mark Marshall, who was appointed to represent Moeller in his state court case, said Moeller has tried dropping the federal challenge for months, but that the Arkansas attorneys have refused.
During Thursday’s hearing, Moeller once again stated he wanted the federal case dismissed while admitting that he kidnapped, raped, and killed O’Connell. He added that what he did was evil and that he has to pay for it. The federal attorneys filed a motion asking the judge to appoint a guardian for Moeller, saying he’s incompetent and incapable of making voluntary and rational decisions. They also said that Moeller doesn’t fully understand how he is to be executed, claiming Moeller thought the state was going to use propofol, the “drug that killed Michael Jackson.”
Moeller countered that he may have said that, but he is fully aware of how he would die. “They’re going to put poison in my veins and they’re going to kill me,” Moeller said. As for him being mentally incompetent of making voluntary decisions, Moeller told the judge he knows exactly what he is doing. “I killed the little girl. It’s just that the punishment be concluded. I believe it’s a good thing, that the death penalty does inhibit further criminal acts.”
He went on to explain that he doesn’t have a death wish, but executing him is “right,” and if the rape and killing of a little girl doesn’t warrant the punishment of death, then nothing does. “I don’t want to be executed,” Moeller said. “I don’t want to die. I want to pay for what I owe.”
If his federal case is dismissed, which it probably will be, Moeller will get his wish and will be executed on the week of October 28th. Regardless, death penalty opponents say that an estimated $1.5 million in legal costs have been spent trying to save Moeller’s life and they plan on organizing a vigil to protest Moeller’s execution.
Moeller sounds sane to me. Let’s get this crap over with and pump him full of that cheap-ass thiopental. The quicker we send his ass to Heaven with the rest of the child raping murderers who found God in prison, the better.Tags: Becky O'Connell, Child murderer, Crime, Death Penalty, Donald Moeller, Rape, South Dakota