Lisa Lambert

Death row inmate Lotter’s attorneys ask U.S. Supreme Court to hear case

December 1,  2017

A Nebraska death row inmate has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take his case and review decisions by a federal district court and appellate court to deny his latest challenge to his sentence.

John Lotter, who was convicted in the killing that inspired the 1999 movie “Boys Don’t Cry,” specifically is seeking review of an 8th Circuit Court of Appeals order July 31 denying him permission to go forward with an appeal in U.S. District Court in Nebraska.

Rebecca Woodman and Jessica Sutton, of the Death Penalty Litigation Clinic in Kansas City, Missouri, had sought to challenge Nebraska’s sentencing method, which relies on judges and not juries to determine if someone gets the ultimate punishment.

They started the challenge in U.S. District Court in Lincoln.

But in February, Senior U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf refused and denied Lotter’s habeas corpus petition, in part because the attorneys hadn’t gotten permission from the 8th Circuit Court to file it.

He likened the filing to a Hail Mary pass.

Lotter, who is raising the same challenge in state court based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision in a Florida case last year, appealed.

In a one-page judgment July 31, a three-judge 8th Circuit panel said after carefully reviewing the district court file it was denying Lotter’s application for a certificate of appealability.

The court’s permission is required for him to go forward in federal court because he has had at least one prior habeas corpus petition.

Lotter also is appealing a Richardson County District judge’s decision to deny him an evidentiary hearing.

Lotter was sentenced to death for his role in the 1993 killings of Brandon Teena and two witnesses, Lisa Lambert and Philip DeVine, at a rural Humboldt farmhouse.

John Lotter, ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ Killer And Death Row Inmate, Denied Appeal By U.S. Supreme Court

march, 27  source :

OMAHA, Neb. — The U.S. Supreme Court has denied the appeal of a Nebraska death row inmate whose murder case inspired the 1999 film “Boys Don‘t Cry.”

John Lotter and a co-defendant were convicted in the 1993 slaying of Teena Brandon, a 21-year-old woman who lived briefly as a man, and two witnesses to her killing. Lotter has maintained his innocence.

In August, a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Lotter’s attempt to appeal his conviction, and his request for the full court to consider his appeal was denied.

Lotter then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court which last week denied Lotter’s request without comment.

Lotter’s attorney, Andre Barry of Lincoln, declined to comment on Tuesday. Lotter can petition the U.S. Supreme Court for a rehearing of the appeal.

Along with Brandon’s death, Lotter and Nissen were convicted of killing Lisa Lambert, 24, and Philip DeVine, 22, who witnessed Brandon’s death in the farmhouse near Humboldt, about 80 miles southeast of Lincoln.

Brandon had reported being raped by the two men. A former Richardson County sheriff was later criticized for his handling of the rape charges and for failing to offer Brandon protective custody.

In a deal with prosecutors to avoid the death penalty, Nissen testified that he stabbed Brandon, but Lotter fired the shots that killed the three. Nissen was sentenced to life in prison.

But in July 2007, he changed his story and said he, not Lotter, shot all three.

true story  of brandon Teena

No. 11-8458      *** CAPITAL CASE ***
John L. Lotter, Petitioner
Robert Houston, Warden
Docketed: January 24, 2012
Lower Ct: United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  Case Nos.: (11-2223)
  Decision Date: August 23, 2011
  Rehearing Denied: October 31, 2011
~~~Date~~~ ~~~~~~~Proceedings  and  Orders~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jan 20 2012 Petition for a writ of certiorari and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis filed. (Response due February 23, 2012)
Feb 17 2012 Brief of respondent Robert Houston, Warden in opposition filed.
Feb 28 2012 Reply of petitioner John L. Lotter filed. (Distributed)
Mar 1 2012 DISTRIBUTED for Conference of March 16, 2012.
Mar 19 2012 Petition DENIED.