Today, a group of death penalty supporters submitted signatures for a referendum on death penalty repeal – enough to suspend repeal and put it on the November 2016 ballot if they are all verified.
The media might tell you that this kills the repeal of the death penalty that you helped achieve this spring. They might say that Nebraskans across the state disagreed with repeal and will vote to bring the death penalty back next fall.
But here’s the truth:
- This debate is just beginning. The numbers released today represent less than 15% of Nebraska voters. The more people learn about the death penalty, the less they like it, and Nebraskans will have the next 15 months to learn about why they should reject this failed policy.
- The group leading the charge, calling itself “Nebraskans for the Death Penalty,” was bankrolled by Nebraska’s wealthy governor and his family – hardly an indication that ordinary Nebraskans are clamoring for the death penalty’s return.
- The broken nature of the death penalty has been on full display this summer as the Governor has repeatedly tried and failed to illegally import lethal injection drugs from overseas. There is no reason to believe they can fix the system that he is fighting so hard to bring back.
Today marks the beginning of the new campaign. You have been with us in Nebraska for more than 7 years, but the next 15 months will likely be the most important.
You can help shape the next wave of the conversation. If you see coverage of this development, post a comment on the story’s webpage or on social media. You can write your own comment or just copy this quote from my colleague, who perhaps said it best:
“No matter how much money Governor Ricketts and his family spend on this referendum, it does not change the basic fact that they are trying to sell Nebraskans a lemon – a government program plagued by wrongful convictions, high costs, and long delays.”
– Marc Hyden, Coordinator of Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty
Thank you for spreading the word. We’ll keep you posted.