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US NEBRASKA ABOLISHES DEATH PENALTY IN LANDMARK OVERRIDE VOTE

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LINCOLN, Nebraska: Nebraska abolished the death penalty on Wednesday over the governor’s objections in a move pushed through the Legislature with unusual backing from conservatives who oppose capital punishment for religious, financial and practical reasons.
Senators in the one-house Legislature voted 30-19 to override the veto of Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican who supports the death penalty. The vote makes Nebraska the first traditionally conservative state to eliminate the punishment since North Dakota in 1973.
The override vote — passed by the narrowest possible margin — drew a burst of applause from death penalty opponents in the gallery above the legislative chamber.
Nebraska joins 18 other states and the District of Columbia in banning the ultimate punishment. Shortly after the vote, Ricketts issued a statement condemning the Legislature.
“My words cannot express how appalled I am that we have lost a critical tool to protect law enforcement and Nebraska families,” Ricketts said in a statement. 
“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.”
Nebraska’s action to repeal the death penalty is unusual because of its traditionally conservative leanings. 
  • Maryland was the last state to end capital punishment, in 2013. 
  • Three other moderate-to-liberal states have done so in recent years: New Mexico in 2009, Illinois in 2011 and Connecticut in 2012.

Nebraska lost its ability to execute inmates in December 2013, when one of the three lethal injection drugs required by state law expired. 
Many senators were swayed by the fact that state officials have repeatedly failed to administer the punishment, calling the death penalty a poorly managed and inefficient government program.

Source: Agency

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