Carey Dean Moore, the longest-serving inmate on Nebraska's death row, has withdrawn his requests to ditch his motions to get off of death row.
In filings last week, Moore had requested that a judge disregard every motion and every argument his attorney made in attempts to spare Moore from the death penalty. The 54-year-old stopped short of asking to be executed -- but did say he would act as his own lawyer.
In a letter Thursday, Moore changed his mind.
"I do and continue to have the utmost trust and sincere appreciation in my lawyer of record and in all his dedicated and hard workings within the interests and issues in this action on my behalf," Moore wrote.
Jerry Soucie, Moore's attorney, said Friday that his client came to his conclusion before Soucie had a chance to meet with him. Without commenting directly on Moore's motives, Soucie pointed out that inmates across the country sometimes suffer from death-row fatigue and file similar motions to drop everything.
Four years ago, Moore made the same move -- even asking the court to set an execution date -- only to change his mind then, too.
Moore has been on death row since 1980 for the 1979 killings of Omaha cab drivers Reuel Van Ness and Maynard Helgeland. Moore shot and killed the men — who were both 47 and fathers — because he wanted money for drugs.
Moore's change of mind puts him right back where he was: awaiting Douglas County District Judge Thomas Otepka's ruling on his motion for postconviction relief.
Soucie, an attorney with the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy, has raised questions about how the state obtained one of the three drugs in the death penalty cocktail -- sodium thiopental.
The drug — the first drug administered in the three-drug lethal injection cocktail — is no longer made in the United States and is becoming increasingly scarce abroad because of the controversy surrounding its use in lethal injections. Nebraska switched its execution method from electrocution to lethal injection in 2009.
In May, questions about the drug led the Nebraska Supreme Court to grant a stay of execution for Moore.
Among other arguments, Soucie has argued that Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning's office committed prosecutorial misconduct by seeking a death warrant without having properly imported death drugs.
The Nebraska Attorney General's Office has defended its actions, saying it is focused on “Nebraska state law and our responsibilities in carrying out executions.”