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Just days after the ACLU asked to be allowed to file a "friend of the court" brief in Carey Dean Moore's death penalty case, the Nebraska Supreme Court on Wednesday denied it.

Without elaborating, the state's highest court simply overruled the motion, according to court records.

Friday, attorney Amy Miller of the ACLU of Nebraska had asked to be allowed to file a brief, in which she planned to lay out legal reasons why the court should delay issuing an execution warrant, sought by the attorney general's office, to carry out Moore's death sentence.

In the motion, which contained the proposed brief, Miller listed four pending lawsuits, including one in which the Lincoln Journal Star, the Omaha World-Herald and the ACLU alleged a violation of public-records law regarding the source of the state's lethal injection drugs. 

But the ACLU doesn't currently represent Moore, who asked defense attorneys to withdraw from his case last month and isn't fighting the death penalty.

Moore, on death row since 1980, was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder in the 1979 deaths of Omaha cab drivers Reuel Van Ness and Maynard Helgeland. Moore was 21 at the time.

On April 3, Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson filed a motion for an execution warrant for Moore.

Peterson's office later asked the court to expedite the execution and requested a July 10 date, or sometime in mid-July, because one of the lethal injection drugs expires this summer.

Scott Frakes, director of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services, said the potassium chloride they have to carry out the execution expires Aug. 31.

Death row inmates

Reach the writer at 402-473-7237 or

On Twitter @LJSpilger.



Lori Pilger is a public safety reporter.

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