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Judge rejects challenge by death row inmate John Lotter

Judge rejects challenge by death row inmate John Lotter

Falls City, Neb. — A judge has rejected the latest challenge by a Nebraska death row inmate whose case inspired the 1999 movie “Boys Don’t Cry.”

John Lotter’s attorneys had argued it would be unconstitutional to execute him because he functions intellectually as a child. The Lincoln Journal Star reports that Richardson County District Judge Vicky Johnson said Thursday that Lotter’s claim was raised too late.

Lotter was sentenced to death for his role in the 1993 killings of Brandon Teena, a 21-year-old transgender man, and two witnesses, Lisa Lambert and Philip DeVine, at a farmhouse in Humboldt, about 75 miles south of Omaha.

Lotter’s motion said IQ testing shows the 47-year-old inmate has an IQ of 67. Nebraska law says an IQ of 70 or below is presumptive evidence of an intellectual disability.

But the judge said the state’s post-conviction act is limited to constitutional, not statutory, claims that could void a sentence.
Lotter is expected to appeal.

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