The Nebraska Supreme Court on Friday rejected an appeal by death row inmate Michael Ryan seeking to be released from prison.
The now 65-year-old Ryan was sentenced to death in 1985 for the cult-related killings of 26-year-old James Thimm and 5-year-old Luke Stice in Rulo.
Ryan filed a request with the Richardson County District Court for post-conviction relief in 2012, challenging how Nebraska obtained one of three drugs that would be used to execute him. Inmates typically file post-conviction relief motions after they have exhausted all other appeals. The lower court denied Ryan's request without holding a hearing and Ryan appealed.
The state's high court upheld the rejection of Ryan's request, saying courts can only enter relief when a prisoner shows that a denial or infringement of his constitutional rights would nullify his conviction.
"Like most Nebraskans, I strongly support the death penalty for the most horrific crimes,” said Attorney General Jon Bruning. “Michael Ryan committed one of the most brutal murders in our nation's history and he deserves to be put to death. I'm pleased the court turned away Michael Ryan's latest attempt to thwart justice."