Washington, DC - 5/27/15 - The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP) today released a statement on the news that the state legislature successfully overrode the Nebraska Governor’s veto of a death penalty repeal law, clearing the way to abolish the practice in the state.
Said NCADP Executive Director Diann Rust-Tierney:
“Today is a great day in the state of Nebraska, and indeed, the nation. Nebraska is a microcosm of what has been happening all across this country. A broad cross-section of people of faith, survivors of homicide, progressives, conservatives, Democrats and Republicans have come together to end the death penalty and make way for a more sensible and effective approach to public safety.
“This latest action in Nebraska demonstrates even more clearly that the death penalty is a habit of the past.
“The death penalty has increasingly fallen into disuse and disfavor. In 2014 there were only 72 new death sentences in the United States and 35 executions. Many states have either abolished the death penalty outright or essentially abandoned the practice. Popular support for the capital punishment as an abstract idea has declined as well.
“When politics, grandstanding and overheated rhetoric are set aside and the public and policymakers take a close look at the death penalty in practice- they don’t like what they see.
“The death penalty does not enhance public safety. It takes focus, attention and resources away from the things that address the root causes of violence: education; a stronger economy; conflict resolution and violence prevention programs and tangible support for victims.
“And it does real harm to our values: equal justice before the law and the belief in the fundamentally human capacity to change-- even redemption.
“Congratulations to the people of Nebraska and the Nebraska Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
Thank you for your tireless and dedicated and successful effort to move this country forward.”
The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty is the nation's oldest organization dedicated to the abolition of the death penalty. We are comprised of an extensive network representing more than 100 state and national affiliate organizations and thousands of advocates and volunteers. Our members include families of murder victims, people across the political and religious spectrum, past and present law enforcement officials and prominent civil and racial justice organizations working to end the death penalty forever.
In January 2014, the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty launched the 90 Million Strong Campaign to partner with and mobilize a growing number of national organizations and individuals who believe that it is time for the death penalty to end.