How can Governor Rounds appease both sides of the issue? Easy, he waits until the last minute to "figure out" (see first paragraph) that the state law, which has been on the books for over 20 years by the way, requires the use of 2 drugs instead of 3 so that he can still tell the folks that are pro-death penalty that he wanted the execution to take place but couldn't allow it to because of this "newly discovered" technicality. The anti-death penalty folks are also happy because the execution has been halted until at least July 2007 so that the current law can be examined during next years legislative session.
As an aside, this "technicality" shouldn't have been news to anyone in Pierre as an inmate on South Dakota's death row is already appealing his death sentence on exactly the same grounds that Rounds and Long supposedly only discovered the evening.
Rounds said he and Attorney General Larry Long had learned of the legal concern regarding the drugs used only hours before Rounds issued the stay.But the issue was raised several weeks earlier in another death row case.
In June, South Dakota death row inmate Donald Moeller filed a federal court appeal regarding the three-drug method for executions.
Good thing he isn't up for re-election...oh that's right, he is!
UPDATE 8/30: Mike Rounds' favorite newspaper has an editorial this morning which includes more on the 2 vs. 3 drug controversy and it isn't very flattering for those in Pierre and the Department of Corrections.