Nebraska’s legislative branch has taken another step moving them closer to abolishing death penalty. NPR reports that the lawmakers recently voted on the approval of a measure that would repeal capital punishment in the state. With votes tallying 32-15 on this third round, the legislative branch was able to overrule the possibility of a veto from Governor Pete Ricketts, who is known to be a strong supporter of capital punishment.
The movement to abolish death penalty in Nebraska has had a long history, with a failed previous attempt in 1979. It also comes from all sides of the political spectrum. Aside from opposition from Democrats and Independents, Republican lawmakers are also against death penalty on religious and fiscal grounds.
According to NPR, the state of Nebraska has not executed a prisoner for about 20 years. However, Gov. Ricketts has made concrete actions to ensure that the practice continues on. The governor was also noted to have called the two decade gap in the state’s death penalty rulings as a “management problem.” On his website, Gov. Ricketts called for Nebraska residents to express to the senate their “[deep concerns] about the repeal of the death penalty and attempts…to give more lenient sentences to hardened criminals.”
At present, there are 32 states across America where capital punishment is legal. Several states have repealed capital punishment in recent years, including Maryland in 2013 and Connecticut in 2012.