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(Neb)-"Boys Don't Cry" Death Row Inmate Asks U-S Supreme Court To Hear Appeal

By: John Axtell Posted at: 12/03/2017 11:55 PM
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - More than 2 decades after being sentenced, the Nebraska death row inmate whose triple murder case inspired the 1999 movie "Boys Don't Cry" is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up his challenge to his death sentence.

       John Lotter claims Nebraska's 3-judge method for determining death sentences violates a U-S Supreme Court decision that struck down Florida's death penalty process because it gave too much power to judges when a jury should make the final decision on life or death.

      In Nebraska, if a jury recommends the death penalty, a 3-judge panel is called to decide whether to accept the recommendation or turn it into a life sentence. The U-S 8th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Lotter's motion in July.
      Lotter was given death in 1996 for the 1993 homicide in southeast Nebraska of 21-year-old Teena Brandon, a transgender female who was living as Brandon Teena, and 2 witnesses, Lisa Lambert and Philip DeVine.

     A second defendant, Tom Nissen - like Lotter a 22-year old ex-convict - pleaded guilty, testified against Lotter, and was given life in prison. He later recanted his testimony that Lotter did the actual killings, but the courts ruled that under Nebraska's felony murder law, both were equally guilty.


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