Attorney General Jon Bruning claims a sideshow is distracting Nebraskans from the real issue that landed Michael Ryan on death row.
Bruning says legal wrangling over how Nebraska obtained a needed drug for lethal injection misses the point.
“These sideshows need to end. Justice needs to be served,” Bruning states. “These are some of the most horrific murders in Nebraska history. In particular, Michael Ryan might be the most brutal murderer in Nebraska history and he’s managed to avoid his sentence for more than two decades.”
Bruning gives some graphic detail on how Ryan tortured James Thimm before killing him. Afterward, Ryan partially skinned Thimm, a member of Ryan’s religious cult based in Rulo. The murder occurred in 1985.
“Mr. Ryan’s execution is long past due,” Bruning says. “Mr. Ryan earned the ultimate penalty by committing perhaps the most heinous murder in Nebraska history.”
Ryan has also been convicted of killing 5-year-old Luke Stice, the son of a cult member.
Bruning has filed paperwork with the Nebraska Supreme Court, defending how the state obtained a drug needed to carry out executions by lethal injections. The filing counters paperwork filed by the lawyer for Ryan which accuses the state of inappropriately obtaining sodium thiopental, the first of three drugs used in lethal injection.
Nebraska Department of Correctional Services Director Robert Houston said the state has acquired the other two drugs from United States manufacturers. The sodium thiopental was obtained through a broker who bought the drugs from Naari, a Swiss pharmaceutical company. Naari has since stated it didn’t know the drug was being purchased to be used in executions.
No execution date has been set for Ryan, who is 63.