John Lane was convicted after he cooked a 4-year-old girl in his oven. Now, after 30 years behind bars, he’s seeking a new trial, and a federal judge has actually recommended that he do so. Although the evidence proved that he did commit the crime, there’s a shocking reason why the judge thinks the case should be re-opened.
According to WPVI-TV, the judge has said that Lane should have the right to build an argument around his mental illness. In a motion filed on Friday, May 29, the 66-year-old’s new defense team argued that he was too mentally incapacitated to appeal for a new trial sooner.
It has been reported that he’s been receiving treatment for psychosis throughout his incarceration. Lane also insists his previous legal counsel failed to give him proper representation. In the motion, Lane backs his claims of poor representation because his lawyer failed to present any of his medical records citing his mental state, reports WCVB-TV.
The appeal comes 30 years after Lane was found guilty of forcing Angela Palmer, 4, into the oven in his apartment. Then, he placed a chair under the handle of the oven door to keep the child from escaping as he turned the heat as high as it could go.
Firefighters responded to a call about smoke in Lane’s apartment complex. When they arrived, they found the little girl’s remains inside the oven. During the interrogation, Lane actually flipped the script, arguing that the heinous crime was an act of self defense. According to Mirror Online, Lane insisted the little girl was a threat to him and he believed she was a demon with the intent of murdering him.
Lane is serving a life sentence for the murder of Angela Palmer at the Maine Correctional Center. The state’s Attorney General’s Office has 14 days to appeal the judge’s recommendation. Of course, many are outraged by the controversial recommendation. Others are also concerned about the lengthy amount of time Lane has been treated for psychosis. If he is still being treated after 30 years, there’s reason to believe he’s still unfit for society.
Do you think the man who cooked a 4-year-old should be granted a new trial? Share your thoughts.
[Image via Maine Department of Corrections]