It seems that Robert was in prison serving an 80 year sentence in maximum security prison for kidnapping "a young woman. At the time of the kidnapping, Robert’s vehicle contained rope, a shovel, and pornographic material." While in prison for this, Robert:
assaulted [prison guard Ronald] Johnson by striking him with a lead pipe which they had acquired earlier specifically for that purpose. Johnson was repeatedly struck on the face and head with the lead pipe. An expert testified that the blows to the head continued after Johnson was on the ground. The attack fractured Johnson’s skull in at least three locations and exposed a portion of his brain. He also suffered defensive wounds to his hands and arms. After immobilizing Johnson with the pipe, Robert and Berget wrapped Johnson’s head in plastic wrap which prevented him from crying out and also from breathing.Manifestly, the "non-lethal means" used by South Dakota to render Robert harmless failed miserably, to the detriment of Officer Johnson and his loved ones.
Robert then dressed himself in Johnson’s uniform and Berget climbed into a box placed on a four-wheel cart. Robert, dressed as Johnson, pushed the cart toward the west gate of the penitentiary. After observing that Robert did not swipe an ID badge, Correctional Officer Jodi Hall confronted Robert about his identity. When Robert’s explanation did not satisfy her, Hall notified Officer Matt Freeburg. Freeburg told Hall to call the Officer in Charge. At this time, Berget sprang from the box and he and Robert began assaulting Freeburg. The inmates used Johnson’s radio to beat Freeburg. Hall issued a distress call “Code Red – Code 3” on her radio. While Berget continued the assault on Freeburg, Robert attempted to scale the exterior gate of the penitentiary but became entangled in razor wire. Robert then attempted to grab a gun from the responding officers.
Again, one must ask the Catholic abolitionist establishment, given this and many other like cases, just what "non-lethal means" we have at our disposal to render such offenders harmless, so that recourse to capital punishment is unnecessary or unjust in this country.
I won't hold my breath.