Posted By: Camila Orti
A district court judge will decide whether or not the state prison system can legally refuse to release some drawings put in an inmate's file.
The drawings belong to Nebraska serial child killer John Joubert. He was executed in 1996 for the murder of two Bellevue boys in the 1980s.
Author of "A Need to Kill" Mark Pettit took the Department of Correctional Services to trial Friday after they denied him the ability to look at some drawings Joubert had done while on death row. Pettit says the drawings have historical and scientific value because they depicted Joubert's continued desires to kill children.
"This is personal to me because I don't like stones unturned and this is my stone unturned," Pettit said.
Pettit conducted several exclusive interviews with Joubert for his book, which was originally published in 1990. While on death row, Joubert told him he continued to think about killing kids and drew his fantasies out in detail.
"He told me during our interviews, I'm going to get out of prison, and those drawings proved if he ever got out of prison, he would've killed more kids," Pettit said.
Pettit says he wants to see the drawings and make them public because they'd have historical and investigative significance, but the Dept. of Corrections is refusing. Officials say the drawings are part of Joubert's prison file, and are confidential.
"I honestly think these were misplaced," Pettit said.
The defense argued that Pettit's curiosity isn't cause enough to release the drawings, which were described in court as color images depicting a torture of a blindfolded youth. Pettit remains hopeful that they could help with future investigations if they were released.
"I'm very pleased with how it went today, I felt we made our case in court that these drawings have historical, investigative and educational benefit," Pettit said.
Channel 8 reached out to the Attorney General's office and the Dept. of Corrections but no comments were provided. The judge heard arguments Friday and should have a decision within the next couple of weeks.