South Dakota executed its first prisoner Monday night on death row in five years and only the second in more than six decades.

Eric Robert pleaded guilty in the April 2011 slaying of prison guard Ron Johnson during a failed escape attempt and asked to be put to death.

Johnson's wife witnessed the execution. "We need to focus more of our attention on the safety of all of the correctional officers in the state of South Dakota.  Ron..some of you will never know great he will be missed.  We stand proud for Ron."

State Attorney General Marty Jackley also witnessed last  night's execution.  "I want to recognize the men and women of the Department of Corrections for carrying out a sentence that was constitutionally sound and humane.  I hope that this will help the healing of the Johnson family as well as Robert's other victims.  This sentence will better assure the safety of South Dakota's corrrection officers."

Supporters and friends of Ron Johnson gathered near the prison training facility.  Pam was one of them.  "I am for the death penalty.  If someone takes someone's life, I think they deserve to die.  It won't bring our friend Ron back but I guess this is the best thing we can do at this point."

Opponents of the death penalty, including Jerry Larson of Sioux Falls gathered outside the penitentiary.   "I have a graduate degree in criminology and have been concerned with capital punishment I entire life.  But tonight my faith has brought me out here."

Inmate Donald Moeller is set to be executed the week of October 28th.