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Partial bailout for botched Nebraska murder case advances

Nebraska Unicameral
Posted at 10:52 AM, Apr 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-30 11:52:50-04

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A rural Nebraska county that was ordered to pay a $28.1 million legal judgment for sending six innocent people to prison could get a $4 million bailout from the state under a bill that won initial approval from lawmakers.

Lawmakers advanced the measure, 35-3, through the first of three required votes. Supporters initially proposed a $10 million payment over two years but reduced it after some senators expressed reservations about that amount.

Officials in Gage County have sought state help ever since a federal judge ordered them in 2018 to pay the wrongfully convicted people, known as the Beatrice Six.

The $28.1 million judgment is more than three times the total annual property tax collections in the county.

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