Nebraska lawmakers vote to abolish the death penalty

Bill was approved overwhelming margin that would override governor’s promised veto

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Nebraska lawmakers have voted to abolish the state’s death penalty, with enough support to override the near-certain veto to come from Governor Pete Ricketts.

The state’s unicameral legislature – the only one-house state government in the US – approved the bill Wednesday with a vote of 32 to 15, according to a report from Fox News. Just 30 votes are needed to override a governor veto.


Governor Ricketts has promised to use his veto on the bill. According to Nebraska law, he has five days to veto, at which time the legislature will hold an override vote. If the support holds, the veto will be overridden and Nebraska would become the first conservative state to abolish the death penalty since North Dakota in 1973.

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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