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Nebraska votes to reintroduce the death penalty after backing Donald Trump to become president

Despite having only 10 male inmates on its death row, the issue has been hotly debated across the state

Matt Payton
Wednesday 09 November 2016 07:11 GMT
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There are currently10 men on the Nebraska's death row
There are currently10 men on the Nebraska's death row (AP)

Nebraska has voted to reinstate the death penalty, as well as backing Donald Trump for the presidency.

Despite waning nationwide support for capital punishment, voters have handed back the option of lethal injection to judges and juries for the most heinous crimes.

The state's unicameral legislature had voted to ban the death penalty in May 2015, by 31 to 15.

Despite having only 10 male inmates on its death row, the issue has been hotly debated across Nebraska.

Pro-death penalty campaigner Bob Evnen told the Lincoln Journal Star: "We hope that the Unicameral will respect the will of the people and will cooperate with the governor in establishing a successful, humane method of carrying out the death penalty.

"We also hope that the judiciary will look for ways to end interminable appeals while maintaining the due process rights of defendants."

A statewide campaign launched in the summer of 2015 to reinstate the death penalty quickly gained the 115,909 signatures required to get it on the ballot.

Governor Pete Ricketts even donated $300,000 (£239, 546) Nebraskans for the Death Penalty, His father, businessman Joe Ricketts, donated another $100,000 (£79,861).

There have only been three executions in Nebraska since 1959, all three were killed using the electric chair.

In California there are two competing initiatives up for the vote. One would ban capital punishment, the other would speed up the process for the state's 741 death row inmates - a result on either measure has not been confirmed yet.

California has not put anyone to death since 2006.

Oklahoma has voted to reaffirmed the state's commitment to the death penalty after lethal injections were suspended last year after concerns over the procedure.

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