Neb. Lawmakers Override Veto, Kill Death Penalty

     (CN) – Nebraska lawmakers on Wednesday overrode Gov. Pete Ricketts’ veto of their vote to repeal the death penalty in the Cornhusker State, with a vote of 30-19.
     The veto override makes Nebraska the first Republican-controlled state in the nation to repeal the death penalty since North Dakota in 1973.
     Nebraska’s unicameral Legislature voted 32-15 to repeal the death penalty on May 21, a seemingly veto-proof vote. Thirty-five members of the Legislature are Republican; 14 are Democrats and 1 is an Independent.
     Ricketts – a Republican – vetoed the bill, calling lawmakers’ vote “a very dark day for public safety.”
     However, the state has not executed a prisoner since 1997 and only has 10 inmates on death row.
     The Legislature needed 30 votes – exactly what was cast – to override Ricketts’ veto on Wednesday.
     After the vote, Ricketts tweeted, “My words cannot express how appalled I am that we have lost a critical tool to protect law enforcement and Nebraska families.”
     The death penalty is legal in 32 states.
     In the last six years Maryland, Connecticut, Illinois and New Mexico have all abolished capital punishment.

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