This afternoon, Nebraska became the 19th U.S. state to abandon the death penalty. Legislators successful overrode Governor Pete Rickett’s veto of LB 268, a bill that replaces the death penalty with life without the possibility of parole. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, Nebraska is the first predominantly Republican state to abolish the death penalty in more than 40 years.
Here’s an excerpt from a statement by Danielle Conrad, Executive Director of the ACLU of Nebraska:
Today marks a remarkable and historic victory for our state. We are grateful for the dynamic leadership of policymakers, and we are proud to be part of an incredibly diverse coalition led by faith leaders, fiscal conservatives, and victim’s families. This is a meaningful victory for all Nebraskans. The Nebraska Legislature, with the world watching, made their voice a part of the national conversation. We are a nation that is turning away from the death penalty. This victory stands as a testament to what can happen in our sister states. Our work helped to identify what we were hearing and seeing on the ground and across the nation a majority of voters favor smart alternatives like life in prison that put public safety first.
TCADP congratulates our good friends at Nebraskans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, particularly Executive Director Stacy Anderson, our colleagues at Equal Justice USA, Senator Ernie Chambers, who sponsored the legislation, and everyone who worked so hard for this day.
Read this editorial from the Dallas Morning News, “Red, red Nebraska moves to abolish the death penalty,” regarding the significance of this vote and the critical role conservatives played.