The Rapid City Journal reports, "Court rejects Charles Russell Rhines' lethal injection appeal."
Charles Russell Rhines came one step closer Thursday to his execution sentence for the 1992 murder of Donnivan Schaeffer in Rapid City.
Rhines challenged the constitutionality of South Dakota's lethal injection protocol, and Thursday Pennington County Circuit Judge Thomas Trimble rejected the challenge.
"Lethal injection is the most humane manner of implementing the death penalty," wrote the court. The court concluded that South Dakota's protocol is similar to and in some respects more protective than the protocol approved by the United States Supreme Court.
Rhines can appeal this decision to the South Dakota Supreme court and then to federal courts before he exhausts all appeals.
South Dakota executed two men last year who had waived their appeals.