Nebraska became the first conservative state in more than 40 years to abolish the death penalty on Wednesday when lawmakers boldly voted 30-19 to override the governor’s veto.
There are 10 inmates on Nebraska’s death row — the 11th died this week — but the state has not executed anyone since 1997 and only recently ordered the drugs necessary to carry out a lethal injection. It’s the 19th state to abolish capital punishment.
Lawmakers across the political spectrum came together to pass a repeal bill three times. Gov. Pete Ricketts, a first-term Republican, then vetoed the legislation on Tuesday. Thirty senators were needed to override him.
More and more states are finding it harder to execute people. Drug companies won’t sell them the cocktails for the lethal injections, court challenges drag out the appeals to the point that it’s a huge drain on the taxpayers, and when you get right down to it, capital punishment isn’t justice; it’s vengeance.