600 Miles and 25 Years Apart, Brothers Sentenced to Die

Rodney, Roger Berget led troubled lives

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted May 28, 2012 4:32 PM CDT

(Newser) – Twelve years after his older brother Roger Berget was executed for killing a man, Rodney Berget sits on South Dakota's death row awaiting his own death sentence. Roger was convicted in 1987 of murdering a man for his car and was put to death in Oklahoma at age 39; Rodney was convicted of beating a South Dakota prison guard to death with a pipe while he tried to escape in 2003. At the time, he was serving a life sentence for attempted murder and kidnapping. His execution is scheduled for September, but will likely be delayed for a mandatory review, the AP reports.

While the Bergets are not the first siblings to be sentenced to death, the other three cases uncovered by the AP involve brothers who conspired together, while the Bergets' crimes were committed miles and decades apart. "To have it in different states in different crimes is some sort of commentary on the family there," says one death penalty expert. The AP runs down the lives of the Berget brothers, who were born in the 1960s to a troubled family and grew up in South Dakota in poverty. Both did their first prison stints as teens. Click for their full story.

This May 2011 photo provided by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections via The Oklahoman shows convicted killer Roger Berget who was executed on June 8, 2000.   (AP Photo/Oklahoma Department of Corrections via The Oklahoman)
Rodney Berget, 48 is escorted into Minnehaha County Court to face first degree murder charges in the death of Ronald Johnson, Wednesday, April 13, 2011 in Sioux Falls.   (AP Photo/The Argus Leader, Elisha Page)
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