Nebraska is now among 19 states that do not have the death penalty. Lawmakers voted 30 to 19 to override Governor Pete Ricketts veto of the bill that repeals the death penalty. The maximum sentence now in Nebraska is life in prison without the possibility of parole. Sarpy County Attorney Lee Polikov says don’t count on that.
Polikov says, “Anything that thinks that life without parole, which is another whole discussion because that is not only misinformation but I think that is part of the dishonesty and the selling of this legislation, there is no such thing in Nebraska as life without parole. Even with the passage of this bill there are constitutional provisions for pardon and parole. You don’t know what is going to happen 20 years from now depending on the parole board or the pardons board.”
Polikov says the next likely step for those on death row is to start the appeal process to fight the without parole portion of their sentence. He says, “Now that they are not facing the potential of execution, nobody is going to want to face the whole life in those conditions of incarceration.”