Judiciary Committee Hears State Claims Bill Related to Beatrice Six Case

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska lawmaker is looking to help a southeastern county pay a $28 million federal judgment owed to six people wrongfully convicted for a 1985 slaying.

Sen. Myron Dorn of Adams is a former chairman of the Gage County Board. The county has had to raise its property tax to its 50-cent cap, to pay for the judgment.

Dorn asked the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee on Thursday to consider a bill that would allow a political subdivision facing a federal judgment for wrongful conviction or imprisonment to file a claim with the state.  Dorn says he’s met with Committee Chairman, Senator Steve Lathrop about possible adjustments to the bill.

:56                  “through the legislative process”

Dorn is also pursuing options that would allow counties facing a federal judgment to impose a sales tax or receive a state loan.

The six people were wrongfully convicted for the rape and murder of 68-year-old Helen Wilson. The State of Nebraska says DNA evidence cleared them in 2008.

An appeal of the case was filed by the county with the U.S. Supreme Court and the county is awaiting word whether the high court will hear the appeal.

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