The state of South Dakota is taking steps to move forward with the execution of a Rapid City man who has been on death row for decades. On May 14, 2019, prosecutors filed a motion for a warrant of execution of Charles Russell Rhines, who was convicted of first-degree murder and third-degree burglary in the 1992 stabbing death of a doughnut shop employee in Rapid City during a botched robbery.
The hearing on the motion is scheduled for June 25 at 10:15 a.m. in the Pennington County Courthouse before Judge Robert A. Mandel, according to the Attorney General’s office.
CHARLES RHINES is going to be executed in South Dakota’s death chamber for being a homosexual. It seems the jury in the case couldn’t live with the fact that if they gave him a life sentence, he might have fun enjoying sex with other men. Huh?
An admitted gay man, and well… murderer, it seems the jury was more pissed at the fact the defendant was gay in their quaint little “farming community.” One of the jurors actually admitted saying such. . . Wait a minute… Huh? That’s right… and as if that isn’t a slap in the face of Lady Justice, the Supreme Court of the United States has outright REFUSED to step in and overturn the biased death penalty verdict and conviction by a jury clearly and publicly swayed by the man’s sexuality.
Charles Rhines is going to be executed because he’s gay!
Of course, there is an underlying murder that Mr. Rhines committed after being caught red-handed… burglarizing a doughnut shop by twenty-two-year-old Donnivan Schaeffer. As the victim pleaded for his life, Rhines slammed a knife into the base of his skull killing the victim instantly. Clearly, it was an unspeakable act of violence, and it was done during the commission of a felony which made the defendant a candidate for the Death Penalty.
First-degree murder is a Class-A Felony in South Dakota, punishable by life imprisonment. It’s the only Class-A (Worst Kind) felony in the state. According to the state legislature, there must be mitigating circumstances in order to find a defendant eligible for the death penalty. Those circumstances are pretty standard across the country. If a murder is committed by someone with a prior conviction of a Class-A or B-felony, or if the homicide was committed during the commission of a crime (Like Burglary). South Dakota’s law actually outlines a sentence of death may be imposed by a jury if: “the murder was committed for the benefit of the defendant or another, for the purpose of receiving money or any other thing of monetary value.”
Clearly, the crime meets the standard of the legislation. However, the jury, in this case, did not find such, instead sentencing Rhines for his sexual preference. Although it is said that Justice is Blind, this jury considered whether Rhines would be locked away having fun in prison with other males … implying he’d be having sex with them. So, they gave Rhines the death penalty to prevent perceived sexual behavior. This is evidenced by the fact Jurors sent the judge a note asking if Rhines would be housed in general population, or if he would “brag” to “young men” about his crime, maybe he’d even get married and have conjugal visits. They also had a problem with the defendant having a male cellmate. We know all this because myriad jurors made public declarations admitting that (get this) their homophobia warped their deliberations.
One juror said that sentencing a gay man to prison would be “sending him where he wants to go.” Another said Rhines “shouldn’t be able to spend his life with men in prison.” A third juror went farther: “There was a lot of disgust” in the jury’s deliberation room. “This is a farming community.”
So, this is an easy appeal, right? Bias is bias… yet, the Supreme Court didn’t see it that way…. ruling jury deliberations could be impeached if jurors were deliberating with racial bias. Thus the question must be asked… if racism can vacate a jury’s verdict… then shouldn’t homophobia? America, I think we have a problem!