Death-Row Inmate Jorge Galindo Files Petition to Vacate Convictions and Sentence for U.S. Bank Killings

NORFOLK, Nebraska – Death-row inmate Jorge Galindo has filed a petition in federal court seeking to overturn his convictions and sentence for his involvement in the 2002 U.S. Bank killings in Norfolk. This action follows an unsuccessful attempt to have the Nebraska Supreme Court rehear his case, which ended in a split decision affirming the denial of postconviction relief without a hearing.

In 2002, Galindo, along with Jose Sandoval and Erick Vela, entered a U.S. Bank branch and fatally shot five people, making it one of the deadliest bank killings in U.S. history. Despite the severity of the crime, the three men left the bank empty-handed and were apprehended shortly after. Sandoval and Galindo were found guilty at trial, while Vela pleaded guilty, resulting in their placement on death row.

Galindo’s legal journey has been marked by automatic appeals that were all rejected. In 2019, he filed a motion for postconviction relief, citing claims of prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective assistance of counsel. These claims were the subject of oral arguments before the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Although Galindo’s attorney did not dispute his client’s underlying convictions, he contended that a hearing should have been granted to investigate allegations of the county attorney’s involvement in a criminal drug ring. The majority upheld the denial of a hearing, characterizing any potential conflict as harmless error, though one justice dissented, advocating for an evidentiary hearing.

Recently, Galindo’s legal team filed a motion to stay the mandate from being issued, while he seeks review of federal questions. Additionally, a 375-page petition for a writ of habeas corpus was filed on his behalf, raising 37 claims.

In summary, Jorge Galindo’s petition to vacate his convictions and sentence for the U.S. Bank killings in Norfolk has been met with legal challenges and adversities, raising questions about prosecutorial conduct and constitutional violations. His pursuit of relief from the death sentences continues to unfold through the federal court system.