No execution delay: Nebraska Supreme Court says condemned man’s lawyer must stay on case

No execution delay: Nebraska Supreme Court says condemned man’s lawyer must stay on case
The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services' execution room in Lincoln, as seen from the viewing room. (World-Herald News Service)

LINCOLN — The Nebraska Supreme Court kept next week’s execution of Carey Dean Moore on track Tuesday by promptly overruling a motion by his lawyer to withdraw from the case.

Jeff Pickens, director of the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy, cited a conflict of interest Monday in asking the court to remove him as Moore’s lawyer. The court rejected the motion Tuesday without comment.

Moore, 60, the longest serving inmate on Nebraska’s death row, has said he wants to be executed. Nebraska’s first lethal-injection execution and first use of capital punishment in 21 years is scheduled to take place Aug. 14 at 10 a.m.

Attorney General Doug Peterson did not file a written response to the motion. His office declined comment Tuesday.

Pickens argued in Monday’s nine-page motion that he is ethically obligated to follow Moore’s wishes not to block the state’s efforts to carry out the execution. But Pickens said do so prevents him from also providing competent legal advice by pursuing any of several potential legal challenges to the execution.

“Doing nothing in a death penalty case is not competent legal representation,” Pickens said Monday after filing the motion with the court.

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