Nebraska judge recuses herself from death penalty panel in Trail case

Local News

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – One of three judges on a panel to decide whether Aubrey Trail is sentenced to death has recused herself, citing her work as a prison system lawyer in helping to draft Nebraska’s controversial lethal injection protocol.

Johnson County District Judge Julie Smith announced her decision to remove herself from the panel in a six-page order filed last week.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that Lancaster County District Judge Susan Strong has been appointed to replace Smith on the panel, which will decide whether Trail should get death or life in prison.

Trail was convicted of first-degree murder and other counts for the November 2017 death and dismemberment of Lincoln store clerk Sydney Loofe.

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