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Death Penalty Is Sentence for Two Brothers Convicted in Separate Crimes, 25 Years Apart

Posted May 30, 2012 9:56 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Brothers Roger and Rodney Berget are a rarity in the criminal justice system. Both were condemned to die for murders.

There are at least three other cases in which brothers got the death penalty, the Associated Press reports. But the Bergets are unusual because they were sentenced to death for crimes committed more than 600 miles and 25 years apart.

Roger Berget was executed in 2000 for a 1986 Oklahoma City murder and carjacking. Rodney Berget was sentenced for killing a South Dakota prison guard in 2011 in an unsuccessful escape attempt. His appeal is pending.

Both had a difficult childhood, according to lawyers for the brothers. Their father was rarely home, and when he was there he drank and was physically abusive, lawyers said. According to the story, “The siblings' journey from the poverty of their South Dakota childhood to stormy, crime-ridden adult lives shows the far-reaching effects of a damaged upbringing.”

Hat tip to the Wall Street Journal Law Blog.

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