Pierre, S.D. — Gov. Mike Rounds halted South Dakota's first execution in 59 years just hours before it was scheduled Tuesday, saying the state law detailing how to administer lethal drugs is obsolete.
Elijah Page, 24, had asked to be put to death by lethal injection for the 2000 torture murder of a Spearfish man. It had been scheduled for 10 p.m. in Pierre.
Rounds and Atty. Gen. Larry Long said that a 1984 law requires the state to use two drugs to kill a condemned person - but state prison officials planned to use the standard three-drug combination, putting them at legal risk.
The delay is in place until July 1, 2007, he said.