Tags: nebraska | death | penalty | ban | veto | gov pete ricketts

Nebraska Death Penalty Ban to Be Vetoed by Gov. Pete Ricketts

By    |   Thursday, 21 May 2015 10:40 AM

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said Wednesday he will veto legislation passed 32-15 by the state Senate getting rid of the death penalty, but at least one senator said the legislative body had enough votes to override his veto.

"Nebraska has a chance to step into history — the right side of history — to take a step that will be beneficial toward the advancement of a civilized society," said Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha, an Independent who's fought for decades to end the death penalty, The Associated Press reported via Yahoo.

"Most of those people had voted at least three times for this bill, which indicates to me that they were casting a principled vote based on conviction," Chambers continued. "So when the governor vetoes it, it will be just one more vote that has to be cast."

Nebraska is one of 32 states that impose the death penalty for the most heinous crimes committed by convicted criminals. It has put 37 people to death, with the most recent punishment carried out in 1997. No executions were performed between 1959 and 1994. The state currently has 11 people, all men, on death row.

"No one has traveled the state more than I have in the past 18 months, and everywhere I go there is overwhelming support for keeping the death penalty in Nebraska," Ricketts, a Republican, said before the vote was cast. "I am reminding senators that [this is] a vote to repeal the death penalty and to give our state's most heinous criminals more lenient sentences. This isn't rhetoric. This is reality."

Sen. Laure Ebke, a Republican from Crete, disagrees with the governor.

"It's certainly a matter of conscience, at least in part, but it's also a matter of trying to be philosophically consistent," she said. "If government can't be trusted to manage our health care ... then why should it be trusted to carry out the irrevocable sentence of death?"

Pulitzer Prize-winning conservative columnist George Will wrote Wednesday that there is a strong argument to be made for the abolition of the death penalty.

"The conservative case against capital punishment, which 32 states have, is threefold. First, the power to inflict death cloaks government with a majesty and pretense of infallibility discordant with conservatism. Second, when capital punishment is inflicted, it cannot later be corrected because of new evidence, so a capital punishment regime must be administered with extraordinary competence," he wrote in The Washington Post. "Third, administration of death sentences is so sporadic and protracted that their power to deter is attenuated."



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Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said Wednesday he will veto legislation passed 32-15 by the state Senate getting rid of the death penalty, but at least one senator said the legislative body had enough votes to override his veto.
nebraska, death, penalty, ban, veto, gov pete ricketts
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2015-40-21
Thursday, 21 May 2015 10:40 AM
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