Nebraska’s abolition of the death penalty is considered in the Legislature Thursday
NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (Nebraska) – A measure was heard this week in the Nebraska legislature that would repeal the death penalty. Capital punishment was abolished by the Nebraska Legislature in 2015, a decision that was reversed by voters in 2016.
Omaha Sen. Terrell McKinney introduced a measure in the 108th Nebraska legislative session that would place a ban on the death penalty in the Nebraska constitution. If the measure is passed by Nebraska lawmakers, it will go to voters in the 2024 general election. If passed by voters, the death sentences would be commuted to life imprisonment under the amendment.
Senator McKinney said the death penalty has always been inhumane because “murder is murder.” Capital punishment is also unjust, he said, because many people have been unjustly convicted and sentenced to death who were later acquitted. “If we are to move forward as a civilization, we need to move away from this ‘an eye for an eye’ mentality of revenge,” McKinney said. “It has been proven over time that it is not effective at deterring homicide and just ends up with more of what it is trying to prevent – death – and leads to an endless cycle of violence.” Additionally, McKinney said, prison life gives an individual time to think about their actions and may lead to the possibility of rehabilitation, according to the Nebraska Legislature Online Update.
No one testified in opposition to LR17CA and the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee took no immediate action regarding the measure.
Nebraska state senators have Fridays and Mondays off. The 108th Nebraska legislative session resumes on Tuesday, marking day number 47.
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