Nebraska Governor Vetoes Repeal of Death Penalty
LINCOLN, Neb., May 26 (UPI) — Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts on Tuesday vetoed a bill abolishing the death penalty in the state.
The bill, LB 268, received bipartisan support and would have repealed the sentences to prisoners currently on death row.
“Today, I am vetoing LB268 which would repeal the death penalty in Nebraska,” Ricketts said at the veto signing ceremony. “Repealing the death penalty sends the wrong message to Nebraskans who overwhelming support capital punishment and look to government to strengthen public safety, not weaken it. Under this bill, there is no guarantee that convicted murderers will stay behind bars for life or not harm other innocent victims.”
Instead of the death penalty, convicted murders would be eligible for a maximum sentence of life without parole. Ricketts said, though, that doesn’t guarantee a person convicted of murder will stay behind bars, pointing to the case of a man who served 40 years before his sentence was commented by the pardons board.
“Heinous murderers such as the ten on Nebraska’s death row have surrendered their lives by their own utter disregard for human life,” said Attorney General Doug Peterson. “The state affirms this reality through a sentence of death. The state should not be deprived of its ability to carry out a just sentence.”
The Nebraska Legislature scheduled a vote for Wednesday to override Ricketts’ veto.
Sen. Ernie Chambers, who supported the repeal, told KETV-TV in Omaha he believes the bill has enough support for an override.