Nebraska bill would abolish the death penalty
By Tyler King
OMAHA, Nebraska: The Judiciary Committee heard testimony on LB 543 which would get rid of the death penalty in the state and replace it with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. If passed, Nebraska would become the 18th state in the United States to abolish the death penalty.
The bill would also eliminate legal authorization for any means of execution, making it impossible to execute the 11 men now on death row. Under Nebraska law, lethal injection is currently the only means of carrying out death sentences. During committee hearings, Chambers called the death penalty a “negative influence on public morality,” citing Pope John Paul II's call for the abolition of state-sponsored executions. 
LB 543 was introduced by Senator Ernie Chambers (D). In 1979, Chambers proposed a repeal bill that cleared the legislature but was vetoed by then-Governor Charlie Throne. Former Senator Brenda Council proposed a repeal measure two years ago which advanced past the Judiciary Committee. Council pulled the bill from the agenda because it did not have enough votes to advance.