Nebraska is the first conservative state to repeal the death penalty in 40 years

Lawmakers vote to override the governor's veto

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The governor of the first conservative US state to abolish the death penalty for 40 years has said he is "appalled" at the move.

Lawmakers in Nebraska voted 30-19 to override the veto of governor Pete Ricketts.

Governor Ricketts had promised to use his veto on the bill, which he did on Tuesday. According to Nebraska law, he had five days to veto, at which time the legislature was required hold an override vote. With 30 votes on Wednesday, the veto will be overridden and Nebraska would become the first conservative state to abolish the death penalty since North Dakota in 1973.

In a statement to The New York Times he said: “My words cannot express how appalled I am that we have lost a critical tool to protect law enforcement and Nebraska families. While the Legislature has lost touch with the citizens of Nebraska, I will continue to stand with Nebraskans and law enforcement on this important issue.”

Lawmakers approved the bill to repeal the state's death penalty last week with a vote of 32 to 15, according to a report from Fox News. Just 30 votes were needed to override a veto.

The death penalty has been a hot topic in the US of late, as the Supreme Court considers whether some lethal injections constitute cruel and unusual punishment, and other states weigh alternate methods of execution.

The last execution in Nebraska happened in 1997 and the state has 11 people sitting on death row.

Maryland was the last state to abolish the death penalty, in 2013, and capital punishment currently is legal in 32 states.


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