Nebraska has abolished its death penalty with an override of the Governor’s veto. Nebraska had a de facto moratorium on executions since 1997 when it carried out its last execution. Nebraska’s officially nonpartisan Legislature is comprised of 35 registered Republicans, 13 Democrats and an independent.
Every state that has abolished the death penalty in modern times has first had an official or de de facto moratorium, which is why we seek a moratorium on executions in Texas. Moratoriums allow time for people who support the death penalty to get used to not executing people and allows a time out for a discussion to abolish the death penalty.
Here in Texas during the 2015 Texas legislative session, we were able to persuade a Texas State Senator to file a bill to completely abolish the penalty for the first time ever in Texas history. While the Texas bill did not pass, it was a significant step in building support to abolish the death penalty in Texas to get a senator to file the bill.
From ABC News:
Nebraska abolished the death penalty on Wednesday in a landmark veto-override vote backed by an unusual coalition of conservatives who oppose capital punishment.
Senators in the one-house Legislature voted 30-19 to override 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.
Nebraska joins 18 other states and the District of Columbia in banning the ultimate punishment.
Some senators said they philosophically support the death penalty, but are convinced the state will never carry out another execution because of legal obstacles. Nebraska hasn’t executed an inmate since a 1997 electrocution, and the state has never done so with its current lethal injection protocol.