(LINCOLN, Neb.) — Nebraska legislators overrode the state governor Wednesday to replace the death penalty in the state with life sentence without parole.
The decision came after the governor vetoed a bill banning the practice on Tuesday. The move comes at a time when states are struggle to keep lethal execution drugs stocked. In Nebraska, that’s resulted in a crowd of death row inmates the state has not been able to put to death.
“The state of Nebraska has been unable to carry out an execution for 15 years. Efforts to obtain drugs for lethal injection have failed time and time again,” Danielle Conrad, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Nebraska, said in a statement. “Thankfully Nebraska can now implement this law and devote more resources to solving crimes, supporting victim’s families, and bringing sensible reforms to our crisis riddled prison system.”
The vote, largely divided along party lines, makes Nebraska the nineteenth U.S. state to ban capital punishment.
Governor Pete Ricketts posted on Facebook, writing “while the Legislature has lost touch with the citizens of Nebraska, I will continue to stand with Nebraskans and law enforcement on this important issue.”
This is the first time in more than 40 years that a Republican-controlled state legislature has abolished the death penalty.
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