"A welcome hiatus on death penalty," is the editorial published in today's Lincoln Journal Star. Here's an extended excerpt from the beginning:
The state of Nebraska has not executed anyone since 1997, and it looks like it will be some time before another is carried out.
The state will be left without a method to carry out an execution because its supply of a lethal injection drug expires this month.
Nebraskans should welcome the hiatus. The arguments against the death penalty are gaining traction as more people begin to comprehend just how fallible the system is and how inequitably the death penalty is applied.
Nebraskans don’t need long memories to come up with two glaring examples of how the criminal justice system can go awry. In 2008 the so-called Beatrice Six were cleared of charges in the 1985 rape and murder of a 68-year-old Beatrice woman. DNA evidence showed the crime was committed by another man.
Last year Omaha CSI chief David Kofoed was convicted for planting a speck of blood that led to charges against two innocent men. DNA evidence linked the crime to a pair of Wisconsin teens.
The mounting evidence against the death penalty has begun to change public opinion. Support for the death penalty declined to 60 percent, its lowest level in 40 years.
Opposition to the death penalty has long been found on the liberal side of the political spectrum, but this year a boomlet of opposition surfaced among conservatives, led by Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty.
Earlier coverage from Nebraska begins at the link.