15 February 2017 :The House State Affairs Committee defeated 8-4 HB 1099 that would have eliminated the option of the death sentence for severely mentally ill criminal offenders. Defense attorneys, mental health advocates and others advocated for its passage, saying severely mentally ill individuals shouldn't be subject to capital punishment. "You only execute morally culpable people and if you have a serious mental illness, you're not morally culpable," said the measure's sponsor Rep. Timothy Johns, R-Lead. Attorney General Marty Jackley, state's attorneys from Minnehaha and Pennington Counties and others said the current process is adequate to assess offenders' mental health status and to eliminate the option of the death sentence for offenders who are found to have mental illnesses. Opponents argued that the bill was an effort to eliminate capital punishment in South Dakota.