Rod Edwards is the State Director for the pro-death penalty organisation ‘Nebraskan’s for the Death Penalty‘ and last week in the US elections, the people of Nebraska spoke; they have brought the death penalty back from the dead.
In 2015 Nebraska became the first conservative state in more than 40 years to abolish the death penalty, voting to eliminate the death penalty by passing the Legislative Bill 268 (LB 268) and defying their Republican governor, Pete Ricketts, a staunch supporter of capital punishment who had lobbied vigorously against banning it.
Soon after Nebraskans for the Death Penalty launched a petition drive aimed at both blocking the enactment of LB 268 and putting the future of the death penalty to a vote of the people.
The petition drive in the summer of 2015 was a tremendous success – more than 166,000 signatures were gathered from Nebraskans in all 93 counties in 86 days using hundreds of volunteer circulators.
The Secretary of State’s office and county election officials determined that more than enough valid signatures were gathered to block the law and allow a public vote at the 2016 general election.
So fast forward 16th months and it brings us to last weeks presidential elections, where there was an incredible pivotal turning point Nebraska with a 61% vote to bring back the death penalty and legalise it once more.
With 10 inmates currently facing execution on the death penalty, Nebraska hasn’t executed anyone in 20 years – and the last time they did they used the method of the electric chair.