Nebraska vote raises hopes of TN death penalty opponents

News release from Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (May 27, 2015) – With a final tally of 30 to 19, Nebraska legislators today voted to repeal the state’s death penalty.

Although earlier this week Gov. Pete Ricketts vetoed the body’s votes for repeal, the Nebraska legislature had enough votes to override the governor’s veto, thereby passing the bill into law.

“Legislators and advocates crossed party lines in Nebraska, and this bipartisan support highlights increasing concerns about our states’ reliance on capital punishment,” said Stacy Rector, executive director for Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (TADP). “Nebraskans have sent a strong message, and we hope that residents and legislators in Tennessee will use this as an opportunity to join the conversation about the death penalty system’s inherent flaws.”

Reconsideration of the death penalty is not only an issue for the left side of the political spectrum. Repeal in Nebraska – a politically conservative state – demonstrates a growing trend among conservative individuals and states of re-evaluating the death penalty on its inability to align with conservative values.

According to Tennessee Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty (TCCADP), the death penalty system is marked by “inefficiency, inequity and inaccuracy.”

TCCADP has five overarching concerns about capital punishment: cost to taxpayers, the lack of deterrent effect, the possibility of executing the innocent, the emotional strain that the system puts on victims’ families due to the prolonged process and the potential for discrimination in the death penalty system.

“We have a lot of work left to do in Tennessee, but Nebraska shows us that change is happening,” Rector said.