Lincoln, Neb. — The Nebraska Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by eight death-row inmates who argued that their sentences were invalidated by the state’s temporary repeal of capital punishment in 2015.
The court on Friday denied the inmates’ request for a declaration that their sentences were invalid. But the court left open the possibility that the inmates could raise similar arguments when challenging their convictions individually.
The inmates argued that the Legislature’s 2015 vote to abolish the death penalty effectively reduced their sentences to life in prison. A petition drive suspended the repeal before it could go into effect. Voters reinstated capital punishment in 2016.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska is representing the inmates. It says it will continue to challenge the sentences.
Nebraska carried out its first execution in more than two decades in August.