Attorneys: Nebraska death row inmate John Lotter’s IQ too low for execution

Attorneys: Nebraska death row inmate John Lotter’s IQ too low for execution
John Lotter in 2007. (World-Herald News Service)

LINCOLN (AP) — Attorneys for a Nebraska death row inmate whose case inspired the 1999 movie “Boys Don’t Cry” say he should be found ineligible for execution because he has the intellect of a child.

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

Lotter’s lawyers filed a motion stating that recent IQ testing shows that Lotter, 46, is intellectually disabled and therefore can’t be put to death under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling forbidding the execution of the intellectually disabled.

Nebraska law says an IQ of 70 or below is presumptive evidence of an intellectual disability. Court records show Lotter scored a 67 last year, which would be the equivalent IQ of an 8-year-old.

The judge will need to grant an evidentiary hearing to consider the issue.

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