A state senator who led the fight in the Unicameral against repeal of the death penalty will carry on that fight.
Sen. Beau McCoy of Omaha failed in his attempts to block an effort to repeal the death penalty in the legislature. He carries on those efforts as co-chair of a petition drive to retain capital punishment in Nebraska.
“I believe that a vast majority of Nebraskans support the death penalty,” McCoy tells Nebraska Radio Network. “That’s the polling that I’ve seen, not just when I was running for governor, but since that time. And I think Nebraskans want to speak on this issue.”
Gov. Pete Ricketts, who vetoed LB 268, supports the petition.
Nebraskans for the Death Penalty filed paperwork with the Secretary of State Monday. The organization hopes to have referendum petitions for signatures as early as Friday, June 5th.
The group will have 90 days to gather enough signatures to make it on the 2016 ballot.
McCoy admits to a bit of a surprise when the Unicameral voted 30-19 to override the veto of LB 268, the minimum needed for an override. He says opponents of the bill entered debate assured they had the votes to sustain the governor. McCoy says he learned only 10 minutes prior to the vote that he would fall short.
McCoy says the petition route wouldn’t be necessary if senators who favored the death penalty during their campaigns voted that way once in office.
“And I believe they’ll ultimately be responsible to the voters of their district, the constituents of their district, over those actions.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:55]