Voters keep the death penalty alive in Nebraska.
Nebraska voters issued a sound rebuke to the Unicameral on Tuesday, overwhelmingly repealing LB 268, the elimination of the death penalty approved by state lawmakers at the end of the 2015 legislative session.
Co-Founder of Nebraskans for the Death Penalty, Bob Evnen, says Nebraskans never wavered on their support of capital punishment.
“My view is that a substantial majority of Nebraskans supported the death penalty when we went into this campaign and a substantial majority supported the death penalty when we came out of this campaign,” Evnen tells Nebraska Radio Network.
The margin of victory grew as the night wore on, building to more than 60% in favor of overturning the legislature’s action.
Still, Dan Parsons with Retain a Just Nebraska says it is unlikely the state can get the drugs needed to carry out lethal injections.
“I think a lot of Nebraskans are convinced that no matter what we do we are not going to have a working death penalty again,” Parsons tells Nebraska Radio Network.
The Unicameral initially approved LB 268, which eliminated the death penalty in favor of life in prison, by a 32-to-15 vote. After Gov. Pete Ricketts vetoed the bill, the Legislature overrode the governor on a 30-to-19 vote. Almost immediately after the override, a petition campaign began to place the issue on the ballot.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]