And we now wait for the movement for an Initiative Petition on the November 2016 ballot.
But Senator Beau McCoy isn’t waiting:
Today, Senator Beau McCoy of Omaha is announcing the formation of Nebraskans for Justice, standing-up for the vast majority of Nebraskans who believe the death penalty is appropriate for the most heinous of crimes. Nebraskans for Justice is an organization that will explore the possibility of a citizen-driven ballot initiative to give Nebraska citizens the option of reinstating Nebraska’s death penalty.
“With the formation of Nebraskans for Justice, I am standing with Nebraskans who are thoroughly disappointed with Nebraska Legislators who voted to end Nebraska’s death penalty,” said Senator McCoy. “Once again, Nebraska’s Legislature has gone against the wishes of an overwhelming number of Nebraskans who believe the death penalty should be in place for those who commit the most heinous crimes.”
In the upcoming weeks, Nebraskans for Justice will look at launching a petition drive to add this issue to the ballot so Nebraskans can voice their opinion on this important issue. Nebraskans for Justice will be meeting with citizens, civic leaders and community organizations to gauge their interest.
“Launching Nebraskans for Justice is a direct result of the overwhelming response I have received from citizens throughout our state who feel that their voices were ignored by the Legislature,” said Sen. McCoy.
Nebraskans interested in Nebraskans for Justice are encouraged to visit the Facebook page for Nebraskans for Justice to show their support for this important effort and engage in the process.
Nebraska lawmakers voted today to override the Governor’s veto. Senator McCoy was in the minority of senators who voted to keep the death penalty in the state. With this repeal, Nebraska has become the first Republican-controlled state in the U.S. to repeal the death penalty since North Dakota in 1973. Numerous previous attempts to repeal the death penalty had failed until this year with the effort spearheaded by Omaha Senator Ernie Chambers.
Passing this along from state Senator John Murante on his change of the death penalty vote:
“This has been the hardest issue that I have confronted during my time here in the Unicameral. When I was elected, I promised my constituents I would fight to lower taxes, reduce government, and protect life. I have worked hard to balance my personal beliefs while at the same time representing the good people of Legislative District 49.
“In the past week, I have had hundreds of conversations with my constituents and I listened and took to heart what they said. I know that I’m not going to be able to satisfy everybody on every issue. I pledged to do my best to vote the way the majority of my constituents want, and it has become obvious to me that the majority support Governor Ricketts’ veto.
“Throughout my time in the Legislature and until last week, the vast majority of contacts to my office concerning the death penalty were firmly supporting repeal. Over the last week, however, that has changed and the vast number have been urging me to support Governor Ricketts’ veto.
“Though I remain firmly opposed to the death penalty on a personal level, I cannot ignore the will of Nebraskans who have contacted me. This is why today I voted to uphold the Governor’s veto.
“I hope that in the future, this issue can go before the voters themselves, instead of being subject to the back-and-forth maneuvering that can occur on issues being debated in the Unicameral. This is too important of an issue for too many.”
Governor Ricketts released the following statement:
“I want to thank Senator Murante for his thoughtful approach to this issue. Senator Murante is a man of deep faith, character and courage. I know this is an issue that he cares about, and I commend him for being willing to listen to the vast majority of Nebraskans who oppose attempts to repeal the death penalty. Senator Murante is a leader in the Legislature and today’s vote proved it.”
Sen. Murante has not yet announced whether or not he will run for the GOP nomination of the 2nd District Congressional seat.