On Wednesday, Nebraska announced to repeal death penalty after the legislators voted to override governor's veto. According to reports, there was a close vote on the issue. To repeal the death penalty, about 30 of 49 senators were needed and exactly 30 lawmakers voted in the favor of overriding Governor Pete Rickett's veto.
Now, Nebraska has joined the 18 other states and Washington, D. C., which have completely banned capital punishment. The decision by the legislature has come a day after the governor vetoed the legislation that was passed earlier this month by the state legislature.
In his statement, Ricketts said that he didn't have enough words to show how surprised he was. The state has lost a very critical tool to protect law enforcement and families in the state. The legislature has lost touch with the people of the state, Ricketts said. According to the Governor, he has decided to stand with Nebraskans on the issue.
Before this, it was North Dakota which voted to overturn the death penalty in 1973. Earlier this month, the Nebraska Governor said that the state has purchased two drugs that it currently lacks, but opponent members said that Ricketts' statement wasn't convincing that Nebraska will be able to resume executions.
Independent Sen. Ernie Chambers had introduced the repeal bill. Chambers fought for about 40 years to repeal the death penalty in Nebraska, according to reports. Danielle Conrad, executive director of the ACLU of Nebraska, said, "This victory stands as a testament to what can happen in our sister states. Our work helped to identify what we were hearing and seeing on the ground and across the nation a majority of voters favor smart alternatives." Conrad was among the people who advocated for the repeal.