Monday, July 7, 2008

Electric Chair Too Cruel of Punishment For John Lotter So Are Hanging or Lethal Injection a Better Option? ~by Legal Pub


Nebraska used to sentence killers to death by electrocution. A recent February 2008 Supreme Court decision declared death by electrocution to be cruel and unusual punishment. So where does that leave death row inmate John Lotter who was sentenced to death in the electric chair over 10 years ago? the fate of Lotter and nine other men apparently is hanging in limbo.


You may recall that Lotter was convicted of a 1993 triple murder that served as idea for the movie,"Boys Don't Cry." Lotter was convicted of killing Brandon Teena, Lisa Lambert and Phillip DeVine. Supposedly, Lotter and another man had raped Brandon Teena (a transexual.) According to the prosecution, Lotter then later killed Brandon and the others.

Currently, Nebraska's only means of execution (electrocution) has been declared cruel and unusual punishment. Can a convict sentenced to die in the electric chair be executed by lethal injection? Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning apparently believes that they can.
Not surprisingly, Attorneys for the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy disagree.


To date, Nebraska's governor, Dave Heineman, hasn't proposed an alternative to electrocution.
In April, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld lethal injection in Kentucky. Other possible but less likely options would include firing squad, hanging and the gas chamber.
The governor has the power to call state senators back for a special session to try to change the law this year. Heineman said that wasn't likely.

Lotter believes lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment. He will not stipulate to a new method of execution. Lotter also continues to proclaim that he is innocent. He apparently claims that Tom Nissen admitted last year to committing the murders alone. Lotter's request for a new trial was denied but is being appealed to Nebraska's Supreme Court.


If death is death, why should it matter whether lethal injection should be used instead of the electric chair?
Update 2-16-10: To comment or update this article further, send comments to legalpub@legalpub.net and we will post them accordingly.
Update 5-12-10: For those wanting to learn more about the electric chair, you may want to visit: "20 Criminals Executed in The Chair" found at http://www.criminaljusticeuniversity.net/blog/2010/20-criminals-executed-in-the-chair/.

45 comments:

blond bombshell said...

I remember the movie was real violent! Assuming he was guilty, no punishment would be too cruel in my view.

Shell

Anonymous said...

Too bad he can not fry!

Ms Calabaza said...

I'm with Shell, in fact, I would prolongue the punishment as I don' t believe in capital punishment. How about slow torture instead?

Anonymous said...

Whoa! Let's slow down! Next thing you know we'll be hurting their feelings!

Anonymous said...

Ought to hurt more than their feelings...

Ron said...

I think a firing squad works and it's not that cruel, as long as their aim is good.

Hanging is a throwback to the past as well, and should be OK, as long as the rope doesn't break.

The gas chamber should work, as long as the gas is lethal enough, and doesn't pollute the environment in the process.

Lethal injection seems a little too nice to some of these criminals, so that one should be eliminated.

Anonymous said...

You got to be cruel to be kind!

Anonymous said...

He could still be innocent, you know!

Kate said...

I could be innocent as well, but that's not likely...

I'm with Shell on this one. I don't think he was taking the victims feelings into account when the killing took place.

Joel A. Brodsky said...

Actually, the least cruel method of execution is hanging, if it is done correctly. It is quick, painless, and not bloody. (If you saw Saddam Husein's exeuction video you know what I mean) Personally, I am against capital punishment, being from Illinois where we had 13 death row inmates exonerated because of actual innocence. The law can make mistakes, and if you execute someone there is no way to correct the mistake. Anyway I know alot of people who are doing time, and you can trust me when I say that life in prison without hope of parol is much crueler than an execution.

Ms Calabaza said...

Funny,

the women tend to be a little tougher on these cases ... tee hee!

I agree with Mr. Brodsky, death penalty is way too easy a way to go. Life imprisonment without HBO or AC,prison food, and that great comaraderie one gets in prison ~ now that sounds like the way to go. . .

LP - Buena Suerte on your trial!

Brooklyn said...

There shouldnt be a death row. When I hear about people dying, I wish the killing would stop but even if we are executing the prisonors because they killed someone, we are not much better than the immates because we are killing someone too. And what if they do turn out innocent, then what happens we kill someone for no reason? What good are we doing by executing them? I mean if we just give them a life sentence in jail we are taking them off the streets without ANOTHER murder taking place. To me, life sentence is the way to go.

J.J. said...

God Bless you Brooklyn.

For you see the light. Judge not lest you be judged. Give to Caesar what is Caesar's but give to God what is God,s.

Only God can give life and only God can take it away.

J.J.

california surfer dude said...

J.J.

Dude, if what you say is true, then God ought to be paying my back child support obligations.

Surfer Dude

P.S. Brooklyn, keep living the dream...

Anonymous said...

Brooklyn rocks

Anonymous said...

I am trying to contact Joel Brodsky or anyone with legal advice. I stumbled onto this website recently and found what was being said about my boyfriend- Kevin Wayne Faulkner. It was posted a over a month ago. Please go back and check it out again. My e-mail is tdeese31069@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the name, I meant Brodski

Anonymous said...

I gotta go with Kate on this one, she looks cute in her photo.

Cal Diver

Anonymous said...

Kate is a hottie!

Secrets said...

I don't agree with capital punishment. Mainly because the courts and juries make mistakes.
I also disagree with it because of the persistent racial imbalance in the use of the death penalty.

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?scid=45&did=539

But I've never had a family member murdered. Something like that might change my opinion.

Secrets said...

But this guy John Lotter should get life without parole. He should be forced to be someones boyfriend, washing dirty underwear, giving oral copulation all while being violated.

Just a suggestion

Anonymous said...

I can't take this article seriously when the TITLE is gramatically incorrect. Electric Chair TO cruel of punishment? Yeesh.

N Snodgrass said...

I have been on the fence for many years ... concerned with "what if" statements. What if they are innocent, what if the evidence was faked or mis read, what if some one was lying ... but here's a good one: WHAT IF THEY ARE GUILTY AS CONVICTED? The evidence showed that he was apart of the rape and plan to commit murder. The evidence showed that he was there when the murder was commited. Did Tom Nissen pull the trigger? Did John Lotter pull the trigger? Why does it matter? If you are there, involved at any point, you should be held as accountable as the individual that "pulled the trigger"! Texas says that ... Why didn't Lotter get help? Why didn't he stop Nissen? Why didn't he warn Lisa and Brandon? I don't give a hoot who pulled the trigger, I say give them both the death penalty - but only after they can suffer the same abuse, humiliation and torture that Brandon, Lisa and Phillip suffered! These two men would have gotten 30 years for raping Brandon (maybe longer for Lotter with a previous conviction) probably would have been out in 1/4 of the time! Let's see murder = possible death ... rape = max 30 years, probably paroled in 7 ???? WTH is the question here? Fry em, shoot em, gas em or hang em ... it doesn't matter just stop wasting the tax payers money by keeping the SOB alive!

Anonymous said...

I am with N. Snodgrass here. What is the debate. They chose to kill instead of getting convicted for the initial crime. Send them both off to the next world of eternal damnation with a lethal injection. God take pity on the victims and the defendants' soles.

Dollar Bill said...

It actually costs more to execute in this country then it does to jail them for life. All the appeals and safe guards that go into making sure execution is the proper result is a real drain on tax payer dollars.

Dollar Bill

N Snodgrass said...

This is true Dollar Bill but it's over much quicker! Families get closer and the bad guy doesn't win. WHat has happened to our society that we choose to let the "man in black" win? His family gets to see him, he got to see his children grow up (even behind bars), he gets an education or trade, free meal and board. He has the RIGHT to go to the law library to assist in his defense - the right?!? Why do the convicted get more rights than the victims? Teena, Linda and Phillips family will never see them again .. Teena's family did not get to see Teena get married and have children ... Linda's 8 month old son never knew his mother, she didn't get to see the first day of school, his first girl friend, learning to drive ... Phillip - imagine how his girlfriend feels! He was only there because they'd gotten in a fight ... imagine the pain and torture that woman has put herself through because of the stupity of two fellow human beings?! No, stop the appeals, stop the bull and send him to the chair ... it isn't cruel what they did was cruel ...

N Sondgrass said...

Ok J.J. I'm sorry ... but if that were true - we wouldn't be having this debate to begin with. God isn't the only one that can take life, he may be the only that is suppose to, but he is not the only one that does. The bible does mention the death penalty:

Genesis 9:6:

"Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man." (KJV)

If you're going to use your god as a shield, you might want to use him correctly. I know this is not a religious debate - but I just had to touch on what JJ said ... sorry!

Anonymous said...

I am with Snodgras all the way on this one.

N.

J.J. said...

Matthew 5:38-42 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you."


Jesus was not about violence. He was about love and forgiving the wicked. Judge not less you be judged.

J.J.

J.J. said...

For fans of the old testament:


In Ezekiel 33:11 God explains, "As sure as I live . . . I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live." Even God was reluctant to impose the death penalty, preferring that the wrongdoers repent. While reluctance is not refusal, there is a strong implication that execution should be a last resort. As Ezekiel 33 suggests, repentance or contrition could commute the death sentence.

J.J.

N Snodgrass said...

Well J.J. I would guess that Lotter has come to the last resort since the SOB has been in prison since 1995. Thats a few more years than Teena, Linda and Phillip!

Anyways, be sure to use the WHOLE quote when you're quoting:

"Say unto them, as I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, 0 house of Israel?" - Ezekiel 33:11

It says, if they do not turn from their evil ways ... they will die! Geez! I love being Pagan!

Anonymous said...

I think J.J. is a New Testiment kind of guy. He is pretty consistent in his views and as a man of the cloth, his views are always welcome around here. While many don't agree with him, few will attack his knowledge of scripture. LOL

Brian P.

Anonymous said...

"Lotter" good arguments in favor of the death penalty on this one!

Anonymous said...

So easy to pull the switch from the internet... try doing it looking into the person's eyes...

Dawn said...

After all the reading on this story. Lotter is a lier, on the stand he claims that he had nothing to do with the killings, then in Nissen recanting his statement he forgot to state that Lotter had noting to do with it. Nissen knows that they can not try him again for the murders so he is going to do anything to get his friend off the chopping block. They are both guilty and should both be on the chopping block. If they have changed the method of the death penalty they should just decide on another one and continue.

Anonymous said...

I am with Dawn... just put sun glasses over his eyes and pull the switch.

Anonymous said...

lotter controvercy over this one..,

Anonymous said...

I don't really think the electric chair is cruel or unusual because worse things can happen in prison and it's a LOT longer.

Anonymous said...

Yup, Anon, it is a mercy kill!


st. jude

madame said...

I wish this murderer burn in hell!!!

Lopes (Brazilian FTM)

Anonymous said...

But tell us how you really feel about Lotter...

Shislaine said...

poor jhon'm dying for him.
thom nissen and he had no sympathy for brandon teena, a lisa lambert, nor philip devine.
I am not in favor of the death of the leg, the more I understood if he had pleaded guilty would not have gotten the death penalty, it still insists he is innocent.
Will deny until the end of his useless life.

Anonymous said...

poor jhon'm dying for him.
thom nissen and he had no sympathy for brandon teena, a lisa lambert, nor philip devine.
I am not in favor of the death of the leg, the more I understood if he had pleaded guilty would not have gotten the death penalty, it still insists he is innocent.
Will deny until the end of his useless life.

Anonymous said...

Dung. Flush him down the toilet.

Legal Pub said...

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