Nebraska legislators are expected to debate whether to join the 13 states that don't have the death penalty. Sen Ernie Chambers has tried to rid the state of the death penalty every legislative term for more than 30 years and successfully guided the issue to floor debate a year ago. He is expected to do so again. |
Three men have been executed in Nebraska since the Supreme Court ruled in 1976 that the death penalty is not a violation of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, which bans cruel and unusual punishment.
Nebraska is the only state with electrocution as its sole means of execution. That has aroused concern among death-penalty supporters that it might eventually be struck down by courts as an unusual punishment that violates the Eighth Amendment, and has led to calls that the state add lethal injection as a means of execution.
Should Nebraska have the death penalty?