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EJUSA Newsline

Justice, reimagined

by Shari Silberstein

For 25 years, you’ve helped us tackle one of the most serious flaws in the U.S. justice system: the death penalty. We’re not done with that work. But you know what? We’re almost there. Really.

So what’s next when we end the death penalty?

We believe it’s not enough to just dismantle the parts of the justice system that aren’t working. We also have to build up the system we want in its place.

Today, we’re expanding that part of our work with two new programs that I’m thrilled to share with you:

Narrow Supreme Court ruling gives glimpse at future of death penalty

altOn the last day of its spring session, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a long-anticipated death penalty case, Glossip v Gross.

Though the case’s scope was narrow – only relevant to one drug used in a handful of state execution protocols – the oral arguments held in April unfolded with rare courtroom drama and revealed deep disagreement between the Justices about the death penalty in the United States.

The Court’s final ruling in favor of Oklahoma’s right to use the drug in question – midazolam – seemed to ignore the fact that the death penalty is falling into disuse around the country and that there is a growing consensus across the political spectrum that it is broken beyond repair. But those facts were not lost on the Court’s minority.

What's next for the death penalty debate in Nebraska?

altIt’s hard to imagine that after all that work done to pass repeal in Nebraska, the debate over the death penalty is still not over. But it's not.

Why? Because some lawmakers are clinging so desperately to the death penalty that they are scrambling to get illegal execution drugs and trying to force the issue onto the ballot. If death penalty supporters get enough signatures, a decision about death penalty repeal will go on the November 2016 ballot in Nebraska.

(We put together a geeky rundown of the “Veto referendum” process, since our equally-geeky rundown of the Nebraska legislative process was so popular.)

The incredible team on the ground in Nebraska has regrouped after their amazing victory and are prepared to fight this effort at each step of the process.

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