Governor Pete Ricketts, Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert and other officials gathered today in Omaha to speak on proposals in the Legislature that would soften sentencing guidelines for criminals and repeal the death penalty in Nebraska.
Lawmakers this week advanced legislation that would weaken prosecution of habitual criminals and end mandatory minimum sentences from some criminals, including those convicted of child pornography, use of a deadly weapon, distribution of controlled substances in school zones among others.
Today, the Legislature will debate a proposal to repeal the state’s death penalty.
“As I have said before, I will veto any attempt to repeal the death penalty in Nebraska because its repeal represents a real threat to public safety,” said Governor Pete Ricketts. “Senator Chambers’ plan ends important legal protections that have served law enforcement and the public well. It is a long-held tradition that Nebraskans are the second house in our state’s legislative process. Now is the time for Nebraskans to make your voice heard and to stand in support of Nebraska law enforcement who work hard every day to protect public safety.”
“In addressing Nebraska’s prison overcrowding problem, the Nebraska legislature is attempting to reduce possible penalties on several serious crimes,” said Attorney General Doug Peterson. “Going soft on crime is the wrong response and not consistent with the Council of State Government recommendations. The Legislature cannot compromise safety under the guise of corrections reform.”
Others who spoke today include Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine who represented the Nebraska County Attorneys Association, Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer and Douglas County Sheriff Tim Dunning who represented the Nebraska Sheriffs Association.