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Child killer executed in Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb., July 17 -- Nebraska executed its second man in 35 years Wednesday. John Joubert, 33, convicted of kidnapping and murdering two boys, died in the electric chair at 12:29 a.m. CDT.

He was convicted in the 1983 kidnap-murders of Danny Joe Eberle, 13, who was abducted along his paper route, and Christopher Walden, 12, who disappeared while walking to school. Both boys were stabbed and slashed to death. Joubert was arrested after he tried to abduct a young girl. The girl memorized the license plate on Joubert's car and gave it to police. After his arrest, Joubert confessed to the murders. When police searched his barracks at Offutt Air Force Base they found the same type of rope that was found on Eberle's body. He also admitted killing Richard Stetson, 11, in 1982 in Portland, Maine, Joubert's home town. Nebraska's only other execution since the death penalty was reinstituted in 1977 was that of Harold Otey in 1994. Joubert was within seven hours of execution June 28 when the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the sentence pending the outcome of a Georgia death row case. The stay was lifted July 1. Joubert's attorneys filed two last-minute appeals before the Supreme Court. One asks the court to declare execution cruel and unusual punishment. The other asserted Joubert never received a fair clemency hearing. Joubert sought a stay in part because Nebraska is one of only six states that use electrocution as their sole means of execution. The others are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee. Ohio, Virginia and South Carolina offer prisoners a choice of electrocution or lethal injection. The Supreme Court denied both of Joubert's requests without comment. (Application Nos. 12 and 13, Joubert vs. Nebraska and Joubert vs. Board of Pardons)

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