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March 19, 2013

Bill to abolish death penalty advances in Nebraska legislature

As reported via this local article, in Nebraska the unicameral legislature's "Judiciary Committee voted 7-0 Tuesday to advance a bill (LB542) by Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha to change the death penalty to life in prison without the possibility of parole." Here is more:

Chambers, the most ardent death penalty opponent in the Legislature, was re-elected to his North Omaha seat in November after sitting out four years because of term limits. Each year from 1973 to 2008, he introduced a bill to abolish the death penalty. In 1979, his bill passed but was vetoed by then-Gov. Charles Thone.

Among those supporting this year's effort at a recent hearing was the Nebraska Innocence Project, which is part of a national network that gives free legal representation to people wrongly convicted of crimes....

Among those speaking against the bill was Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine, who appeared on behalf of the Nebraska County Attorneys Association. Kleine said some murders were so heinous the death sentence was warranted. Lancaster County Attorney Joe Kelly also spoke against the bill on behalf of the association.

This month, the Maryland Legislature passed a bill to replace the death penalty with life without parole. If signed into law, Maryland will become the sixth state in six years, and the 18th overall, to abandon capital punishment. With that action, 32 states, the U.S. government and the U.S. military still have the death penalty.

Eleven men are on Nebraska's death row.

March 19, 2013 at 09:34 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Wikipedia tells me Nebraska has a non-partisan unicameral legislature, so darn, who do we blame (thank) here?! Seriously, unofficially it breaks down 30-17-2, Republican. Three people were executed since the '70s, all three in the mid-90s. The courts struck down the chair about five years ago and then held up lethal injection.

Posted by: Joe | Mar 20, 2013 8:07:25 PM

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