NEBRASKA: IT'S TIME TO RE-EVALUATE THE DEATH PENALTY!
The State of Nebraska set a June 14th execution date for Carey Dean Moore. Our friends at NADP are launching a state wide petition calling for an end to executions in Nebraska. Please take a moment today to sign this petition and to send it to your friends, family, and co-workers.
Nebraska has a long history of moving away from the death penalty. In 1979, the Nebraska Legislature was the first in the country to pass a bill to end the death penalty. Again in 1999, Nebraska was the first state to pass a bill placing a moratorium on executions. Both of these attempts to re-evaluate our state’s death penalty were met by a governor’s veto. These efforts to address the application and fairness of Nebraska’s death penalty were a good idea in the 1970s, the 1990s, and are an even better idea toda
Whether one supports, opposes, or is uncertain about the use of the death penalty, serious questions remain about the system's fairness, cost, and effectiveness.
In 2008, the Nebraska Supreme Court declared our only method of execution, the electric chair, unconstitutional. A year later, the Legislature changed the state's method of execution from the electric chair to lethal injection over the objections of legal authorities, medical experts, judges, law enforcement officers, and the families of those who have lost loved ones to murder. The hastily drafted and adopted measure to implement lethal injection remains open to legal challenges that will result in numerous appeals, at great cost to taxpayers.
Last year, as Nebraska began to face huge budget deficits, the Legislature refused to study the cost of Nebraska's death penalty system. However, we can easily predict the outcome of such a study--more than a dozen states have found that having the death penalty is up to 10 times more expensive than replacing it with a sentence of life without parole. Some of the newest and strongest opponents of executions include police officers, prosecutors, and judges, who remain philosophically in favor of capital punishment but see it as a waste of precious resources the could be used toward proven public safety programs. One does not need to be opposed to the death penalty to see that there are far better ways to spend our increasingly limited resources.
Nebraska has now set a date of June 14 to execute Carey D. Moore, who has been on death row for over 30 years. This would be the first execution held in Nebraska in more than 13 years. We must ask why the state is pursuing this faulty course despite so many unanswered questions.
Why the rush to test a new method of execution? Why spend hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars seeking an execution when the state is in the throes of a budget crisis, compelled to slash funding for education, health care, and public safety? Why continue this broken, bloated government program?
We, the undersigned, call on the State of Nebraska to re-evaluate its use of the death penalty. If not now, when, and at what cost to our state’s future?