McCoy on the Petition and Amendment Process for restoring the Death Penalty

Prior to Wednesday’s override vote on the Death Penalty Repeal, Nebraska State Senator Beau McCoy talked on my podcast, The Wheels Down Politics Show, about the process that could take place to restore the Death Penalty, should the override succeed.

Here is a short cut from that interview:

And here is McCoy’s full statement after 30 Senators voted to override Governor Pete Ricketts’ veto of the Death Penalty Repeal:

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.


  1. Rolling in his Grave says:

    “Lindstrom is a dyed-in-the-wool Republican, a 21st-century Reaganite, a reliable conservative. ” No he is not like Reagan or Reliable. He is more Krist-like

  2. KHDS says:

    Lindstrom is a complete dunce. I am sorry he is not very bright and was poorly educated. He – and many others – were completely duped by the Left.

    Here’s the argument they fell for. The death penalty is a costly and ineffective government program. Why is that? Because the Left has worked for years to delay executions! That’s what this latest problem this new delaying tactic about buying the drugs is designed to do.

    I mean, really. How could one be so stupid?

    Just like with KXL, the NE GOP has turned the state into a laughingstock and a tool for the much smarter Chambers and Kleeb.

    Total and complete leaderless dunces.

    Ricketts needs to punish them all and let us know he is doing it.

  3. at least.. says:

    at least Larson came to his senses and admitted that he campained on supporting the death penalty!!! HE didn’t let down his constituents. this Linstrom guy a. either lied to his constituents when he was running supporting the death penalty, or b. did a bait and switch. either way a greasy politicians tactics. ATTENTION elected officials: we don’t vote you in to vote YOUR mind. we vote you in to vote OUR mind.

  4. KHDS says:

    The GOP in NE needs to face facts. On two important issues, they got TAKEN by Ernie and Jane.


    Watching Maddow crow and spin this thing last night I was sick.

    One would think the GOP would have learned after Kleeb set us up and Obama could say he was waiting on events in NE.

    The GOP needs pols who are smarter and more disciplined.

  5. The Grundle King says:

    “Because the Left has worked for years to delay executions! That’s what this latest problem this new delaying tactic about buying the drugs is designed to do.”

    And, unfortunately, they’ve been very successful at it. And as remiss as I am to admit it, the direction that our country…as well as the rest of the world…is headed in would lead me to believe that they’ll continue to be successful in their efforts.

    I suppose you can count me as a ‘convert’ when it comes to the death penalty. Don’t get me wrong, as I said yesterday, I’d be more than willing to help put the sub-human animals on Nebraska’s death row six feet under. But I also acknowledge that the utter mess that is our government routinely gets things wrong…very wrong. Sometimes they get things wrong by mistake (incompetence), other times they get things wrong intentionally (willful wrongdoing). Let us not forget that one’s innocence or guilt rests with a handful of people who were either too dumb to get out of jury duty, too uninformed to pay attention to the news, or who are willfully doing their ‘civic duty’ so that they’ll have something interesting to talk about at the water cooler or the coffee shop.

    That said, this still upsets me to some extent. Many lawmakers ignored the will of their constituents and voted with their own conscience. Of course, many liberals have attributed this to being the rightful product of a representative republic…completely ignoring the ‘representative’ part. Many of those same lawmakers outright lied to their constituents, carefully calculating their votes for cloture, bill passage, and to override or sustain the veto so that they could ignore the will of those who put them in office, whilst pretending that they really listened. The time to listen to their voters is not during the 11th hour, but at every step along the way. Regardless of what issue is being voted on, this deceitful behavior should not, and will not, be tolerated.

    With Matt ‘The Wimp’ Hansen as my representative, at least I knew what I was getting (no, I didn’t vote for him). But many people across Nebraska woke up this morning feeling as though they’ve been sold a bill of goods…and it’s hard to blame them.

    How many senators campaigned on being tough on immigration…but voted to grant drivers licenses to illegal immigrants?

    How many senators campaigned on reducing taxes…but have turned down any meaningful tax relief while raising our gas taxes?

    How many senators claimed to support Nebraska agriculture…but came within a small handful of votes of handing Nebraska pork production over to the hilariously named People’s Republic of China?

    Lastly, how many people were rightly outraged when Ernie Chambers said that if he had a gun, he’d shoot at police first and ask questions later, because the police are ‘his ISIS’? And what did our spineless legislative body do? They rewarded him with the victory he’s sought for over 30 years.

  6. To Grundle King says:

    You bring up a great point in nearly handing over our pork industry to the Chinese.

    Funny that it was said on the floor the Chinese hold only one or two shares of Smithfield’s (aka the world’s largest pork conglomerate). In reality, Smithfield’s was completely sold in 2013 in what marked the biggest purchase of a US company by a Chinese firm. No “shares” exist of Smithfield’s any longer because all of the shareholders sold them to the Chinese.

    Convenient that all the urban senators supported this bill. What exactly was your motive here, Senator Schilz? How did you get so many Democrats to support a bill that goes against every single Democrat ideal?

    Seems rather convenient that Schilz voted for cloture on each round of the death penalty without ever actually voting for the bill. Ricketts made a glowing statement to Murante for his death penalty vote (seemed a little over the top, in my opinion), where is a similar statement lambasting Larson, Schilz, and Smith for their cloture votes? The death penalty could still be alive in this state, instead we had “representatives” sell out their votes for the gas tax, expanded gambling, and Chinese-owned agriculture.

    I wonder how their constituents feel about that. Glad I’m not one of them.

  7. Macdaddy says:

    I’d like to think that this just came out of the blue, but there is a long and deep tradition of Nebraskan politicians claiming to be conservative and the nice, congenial voters give them the benefit of the doubt. Then, at the opportune moment, these same greasy politicians shank the voters. In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve.

  8. (1) Party registration means very little in Nebraska. I have über-liberal colleagues who are registered Republicans, because as often as not the Republican primary is the real contest, and the general election a formality. That being said, Campbell, Schumacher and McCollister (just the most notable examples) have no excuse. Their party registration is a deliberate attempt to deceive the electorate. Kathy Campbell I particularly despise, given her prating sanctimoniousness (8th commandment, Senator, on the Catholic scoring system)

    (2) Voters are stupid and uninformed.

    (3) The Nebraska Republican Party needs a quality assurance mechanism. Real soon. Maybe embarrassing the bejeesus out of the governor will bring one on. It’s about time.

  9. Anonymous says:

    “I really think that it’s very important that citizens be able to make laws when their legislature lets them down,” Dave Domina said. “And they need to be able to correct things when their legislatures go overboard.” Lincoln Journal Star, Nov 10, 2014.

  10. Two legs and a compass says:

    Why would a political party need a QA mechanism? To yell louder at a nonpartisan unicameral that is incentivized by its nature to plug its ears?

    Yes voters are stupid and uninformed. They are that even with a partisan bicameral. In republics voters elect Senators to decide things for voters. Thus it is Senators who need QA mechanisms, not the dim voters or the poor parties who are all too aware of their constitutional emasculation.

    We do however need a QA mechanism – an apt analogy, by the way, because QA deals with using procedures to standardize behaviors in complex systems that typically self-reinforce bad outcomes beyond any one person’s ability to recognize or correct – for the NE State Legislature.

    It is a one legged creature without a compass. It needs another leg and principles.

    Norris dishonestly promised that every four years voters would somehow wield the same 24/7 principled influence a party wields over its members in a partisan legislature. Norris also promised that gubernatorial vetoes which can always be overridden would somehow mirror the ability of a second house of competing legislators to kill every dumb idea that arises in the first house.

    A Nonpartisan Unicameral is a vacuum absent of principle and policy accountability in which egos expand exponentially and personality cults arise, such that a fringe thinking Senator who says “I’d shoot cops” can lead a fight to end capital punishment. Regardless the issue, a fringe thinker like Ernie can only hold disproportionate power in a nonpartisan unicameral because it is that dysfunctional thing.

    The QA mechanism needed is a partisan bicameral. Nothing else is as important in NE politics.

  11. Anon says:

    I find it hard to believe that Schumacher represents the voters in his district. How does he keep all that knowledge in his head?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Bicameral, partisan legislature in Nebraska. Not gonna happen. Keep bringing this up and the most recent 3 losses will pale in comparison. There is no political support for the elimination of the Unicameral.

    • Rick Olson says:

      Nebraska is unique with its one-chamber, Unicameral Legislature. Despite it being an officially nonpartisan body; I must say I have never seen a more politicized legislative body before in my life. Even though the Senators neither run under party labels or serve in office under party labels, the Republican and Democratic parties wield much influence in the process of who gets elected and who serves (although it is strictly unofficial and largely under the radar).

      The Unicameral system seems to be a lot more time consuming than a traditional bicameral system is. In Nebraska, the state constitution requires that each piece of legislation which is introduced in the Unicameral must go through three separate readings on three separate days before it can be considered for final passage and be sent on to the governor for consideration.

      It can take days and even weeks for the Unicameral to consider any one single piece of legislation. That’s the system which the people of the state voted to adopt in the 1930s. While it is efficient in some ways, it is very cumbersome in other ways. I think the time has come to put another constitutional amendment on the ballot to put the question of going back to a bicameral legislature before the voters.

  13. Rick Olson says:

    Nebraska will never carry out another judicially-ordered execution until it can find a constitutionally-acceptable means of carrying out a death sentence. The state first had hanging, then it switched to the electric chair (which has since been decommissioned with the state supreme court’s ruling declaring electrocution to be a cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the state constitution) and the now in-limbo lethal injection protocol which has been bungled from the start. Whenever the state has been able to procure the drugs necessary to carry out an execution with, they’ve been confiscated by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency because of issues surrounding importing them from another country. Let’s see what happens with the death penalty referendum in November — if the people vote to retain the death penalty, Senator Ernie Chambers notwithstanding — the Unicameral should get to work on getting a constitutionally-acceptable means of execution on the books. How about bringing back hanging or perhaps introducing the firing squad? Both means are relatively inexpensive to implement and both have survived constitutional challenges in courts all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.