Confessed killer Eric Robert is trying to hold South Dakota hostage. During his sentencing hearing before Judge Bradley Zell yesterday, Robert threatened to kill another man and tried to shift the blame to us:
He also told Zell that failure to return a death sentence for the murder of Ronald "R.J." Johnson will put other officers at the penitentiary at risk.
"If you sentence me to life, I believe you'll read somewhere that I have killed again," Robert said. "That will be on you" [John Hult, "Robert: I'd Kill Again," that Sioux Falls paper, 2011.10.26].
No, you scum. It will not be on Judge Zell or me or any other citizen of this state. If we let you rot in a cell for the rest of the natural life you have chosen to waste, and if you choose to commit more violence, the responsibility for that violence lies entirely on you.
Robert makes clear his moral intent in asking for us to kill him:
On the 12th of April, when given the choice, I chose to kill. I chose to execute someone. I'm asking you to do the same [Robert, quoted in Hult, 2011.10.26]
Robert wants to make us the same as him. In his sick mind, he wants to justify his murderous act by eliciting a murderous act from The Man, from us.
Don't fall for it, Judge Zell. Don't fall for it, South Dakota. Don't do Eric Robert's bidding. Be better than Eric Robert. That's not a high moral bar to clear... or is it?