A state senator instrumental in the repeal of the death penalty cautions voters not to expect too much if they reinstate it.
Sen. Colby Coash of Lincoln helped build the coalition of conservative senators vital in the vote by the Unicameral not only to repeal capital punishment, but to override Gov. Pete Rickett’s veto. A petition drive, though, gathered nearly 170,000 signatures to place the issue on the November ballot next year.
Coash says Nebraska will face numerous obstacles to carrying out executions even if voters approve reinstatement.
“The inability to get the drugs will still be a problem. The chances for lawsuit will still be a problem,” Coash tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KRGI.
The Ricketts Administration has been unable to obtain the drugs necessary for lethal injection. It now is attempting to recoup the $54,000 it paid for drugs the Federal Drug Administration has blocked from entering the country.
The inability to carry out executions was a key factor Coash used in persuading fellow lawmakers to vote to repeal the death penalty. Opponents of capital punishment insist it is a broken system. Coash insists just as adamantly that voters cannot fix it.
Coash says the problems the state has faced will remain even if voters reinstate capital punishment.
“It’s a false promise to say to citizens that we can start resuming executions if we just keep it on the books,” according to Coash. “It’s been on the books and we still haven’t been able to do it.”
Tyson Havranek, KRGI, contributed to this article.