Lancaster County District Judge Lori Maret dismissed the lawsuit which claimed supporters of the initiative petition that placed capital punishment on the ballot failed to disclose Gov. Pete Ricketts as a sponsor.
The governor and his father donated a third of the $900,000-plus raised by Nebraskans for the Death Penalty to gather nearly 167,000 signatures, enough to not only place the issues before the voters, but to stop the Unicameral’s repeal of the death penalty from taking effect.
Death penalty opponents Richard and Christy Hargesheimer filed suit, arguing the petition process should be ruled invalid, because petitioners didn’t disclose Gov. Ricketts as a sponsor. The governor argued that donating money didn’t make him a sponsor. A number of close allies of the governor helped with the initiative petition, which was launched shortly after the legislature overrode Ricketts’ veto of the death penalty repeal.
An appeal of the judge’s ruling is likely.