The Nebraska legislature today voted to abolish the death penalty by a vote large enough to overcome a promised veto from the governor.
Nebraska is dominated by Republicans — all statewide officials, both senators and two of three members of the U.S. House are Republicans.
Note the news coverage:
The 32-15 vote on LB 268 was bolstered by conservative senators who oppose capital punishment for fiscal, religious and pragmatic reasons.
They say it couldn’t happen here. But if it could happen in Nebraska ….
An abolition bill somewhat surprisingly came out of a Senate committee at the Arkansas legislature this year, but advanced no farther. Arkansas hasn’t had an executiion since 2005. There are 33 people on Death Row, one dating back to 1989. Execution procedures remain under court challenge here. The costs of long appeals, the uncertainty, the finality of the sentence when guilt is in doubt, the disparity in circumstances of conviction for those with and without resources, religious considerations. They are no different here than in Nebraska.