« "Will Mike Huckabee's Forgiveness of Joshua Duggar Extend to Other Youthful Offenders?" | Main | Senator Paul talking about crime and punishment in Chicago »

May 27, 2015

Nebraska legislature, with every vote counting, repeals death penalty by overriding Gov veto

As reported in this local article, the "death penalty has been repealed in Nebraska."  Here is how:

In a historic vote Wednesday, senators voted 30-19 to override a veto from Gov. Pete Ricketts. The bill (LB268) had passed a week ago on a 32-15 vote. 

Ricketts had worked hard in the last week to get senators to flip their votes.  He needed three to change their minds, but only two -- Sens. Jerry Johnson of Wahoo and John Murante of Gretna -- changed their votes to sustain the veto.

"This is it," said Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha as he entered the legislative chamber to begin the debate on a motion to override the veto.  Chambers has offered a bill to repeal the death penalty 40 times in his tenure of the Legislature.  In 1979, Chambers won legislative approval of death penalty repeal, but the bill fell victim to a veto by Gov. Charles Thone.

Nebraska lawmakers debated more than two hours Wednesday on a motion to override Gov. Pete Ricketts' veto of a death penalty repeal bill.  "Once we take this step, there is not going to be a falling apart of this state," Omaha Sen. Ernie Chambers said at the start of discussion on the floor of the Legislature.  "This building will not implode."

The historic significance of the event attracted a large group of onlookers, legislative staffers and media watched as debate began at 1:30 p.m....  Miriam Thimm Kelle, sister of Rulo murder victim James Thimm, was among onlookers in the legislative chamber Wednesday.  Thimm's murderer, Michael Ryan, died this week on death row.  Kelle has lobbied in support of abolishing the death penalty.

On Tuesday, Vivian Tuttle, whose daughter Evonne Tuttle was killed in the Norfolk bank robbery, joined the governor at a press conference to ask senators to sustain the veto. "I want justice for my grandchildren," she said. "I want justice for all the other families."

May 27, 2015 at 05:12 PM | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Nebraska legislature, with every vote counting, repeals death penalty by overriding Gov veto:


Big Bill Otis and Federalist not so happy today.

Posted by: observer | May 27, 2015 7:10:25 PM

Don't usually like to rub it in but...in this case I'd like to agree and say it's well deserved.

Posted by: Casey | May 27, 2015 8:19:13 PM

Two victims had different ideals of "justice."

Anyway, that wouldn't have been enough for an override in Congress. 2/3 needed there.

Posted by: Joe | May 27, 2015 10:01:00 PM

The Supremacy is happy, and called for this override upon passage of the measure. Now the death penalty bar, is the unemployed death penalty bar. There was never going to be an execution. So why employ dozens of lawyers in worthless government make work jobs?

The fact of Nebraska brings up an anthropological question. 2 million people on 80,000 sq miles. Gets lonely out there. Much weather stress all year. Brutal cold, extreme heat, and tornadoes in between. Much of the business there is agricultural. People are scarce. When something is scarce, it becomes more valuable.

I believe the population density explains the over-valuation of the criminal. U doubt the legislature is conscious of such an effect. Most of the nations with active death penalties are fairly high in density, and people are a nuisance one on top of the other. The other feature is warm climate. South of the USA supports it. North of the USA opposes it.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 28, 2015 1:05:56 AM

Each of the pro-criminal legislators should be forced to spend a shift as a prison guard in a block of lifers.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 28, 2015 10:58:15 AM

A conservative legislator makes the case -- http://watchdog.org/191114/death-penalty-failed-public-policy/

Posted by: Joe | May 28, 2015 12:52:40 PM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB