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Federal appeals court vacates own order for new trial in Beatrice 6 lawsuit; will rehear case


LINCOLN, Nebraska — Within weeks of an 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel granting a new trial in the lawsuit of six people wrongly accused of a 1985 Beatrice rape and murder, the court has agreed to reconsider.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports ( ) that on Thursday, the 8th Circuit granted a motion by Gage County and various county law enforcement officials to rehear the appeal. The appeals court vacated the three-judge panel's August opinion granting the new trial.

The wrongly convicted individuals — known as the Beatrice Six — served a combined 77 years in prison before DNA testing cleared them in 2008.

They have argued that investigators recklessly strove to close the case, rather than seek justice. The six have also argued Gage County failed to properly train investigators.

Information from: Lincoln Journal Star,

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