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Breaking: Nebraskans to vote on the death penalty

Voting BoothToday, 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 growing movement for criminal justice reform

President Obama at the Federal Prison in OklahomaLast month, President Obama became the first sitting president to visit a federal prison, touring the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in Oklahoma. During his visit, he acknowledged that if it weren’t for the privilege of his family support, he could have ended up inside prison walls rather than inside the White House.

The visit capped off more than a week of speeches and announcements about criminal justice reform, including the commutation of 46 people who were given mandatory minimum jail sentences for drug offenses. The President also addressed the national convention of NAACP, calling for sweeping changes to the “broken” criminal justice system.

The President’s call is part of a growing bipartisan movement for reform. Last month, EJUSA’s Marc Hyden gave a briefing to staffers from both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill, and groups like the ACLU, the Center for American Progress, Right on Crime, the Faith and Freedom Coalition, and others are forming coalitions to work together. The need for reform is becoming a hot topic for celebrities, candidates, lawmakers, and organizations.

This is great news. But despite this broad spectrum of support, EJUSA believes the conversation isn’t quite broad enough.

Young liberty activists continue to question the death penalty

Marc with Ron PaulEJUSA’s Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty (CCATDP) project spoke to a standing room only crowd of young liberty activists at last month’s Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) National Conference.

YAL members at the workshop learned more about the death penalty and the movement to end it. One participant approached EJUSA’s Marc Hyden after the workshop with a confession. “I came here tonight for the sole purpose of heckling you,” he said. “Now I am 100% with you.”

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