As a state senator, Bob Krist opposed the death penalty.
Krist says if he is elected governor, he will carry out the law.
Krist, the Democrat running against Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts, says though he voted to repeal capital punishment, he will respect the decision by voters to reinstate it.
“It is the law. It is currently the law of the state of Nebraska. Are we doing it correctly and do we have transparency around the issue? I think those are the keys,” Krist tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Krist questions whether the execution of Carey Dean Moore met that criteria.
Nebraska legislators voted to repeal the death penalty in the 2015 legislative session. Enough lawmakers stuck with that vote to override a veto by Gov. Ricketts. Krist voted both to repeal capital punishment and to override the veto. An effort to place the issue on the ballot for voters to decide began almost immediately after the session adjourned, receiving significant campaign funding from Ricketts. Voters in November of 2016 voted to reinstate the death penalty.
Gov. Ricketts vowed his administration would work to carry out the vote of the people. Moore was executed August 14th using a four-drug protocol never used before.
Krist faults the Ricketts Administration for failing to disclose how they obtained the drugs. He also questions why the curtain was lowered for 14 minutes during the Moore execution, blocking media witnesses from observing the Lancaster County coroner from examining his body to determine the time of death.
Krist points out he took an oath of office as a pilot in the United States Air Force, pledging to obey the Constitution and the law of the land. He says if he takes the oath of office as governor, he will set his personal feelings about the death penalty aside.
“When I take that oath, in the inauguration in January, I will once again take an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and of the state of Nebraska and the laws herein,” Krist says. “I will do what’s call upon me to do based upon those statutes.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]