Lancaster County, Judge Paul D. Merritt
Attorneys: James R. Mowbray and Robert W. Kortus (Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy)(Appellant) --- George R. Love and Dain J. Johnson (Senior Certified Law Clerk) (Attorney General’s Office)
Criminal: 2nd degree murder
Proceedings below: Appellant entered a no contest plea. He was sentenced 50 years to life imprisonment.
Issues: 1. The district court abused its discretion by imposing an excessive sentence.
2. The district court abused its discretion and erroneously limited or denied appellant the right to allocution. 3. Issues involving the use of interpreters at the sentencing proceeding below have been identified but will require a further evidentiary hearing. Appellant maintains that because of the manner in which translation was conducted of the sentencing proceedings from
English to Spanish, he was unable to comprehend the proceedings.