Today the Nebraska Department of Corrections announced a public hearing on a proposal to change the execution protocols in Nebraska. Our NADP staff and board members have anticipated this action, and are working with partner organizations to oppose any attempt to hide the ugly aspects of execution policies and procedures. Read the full story here.

Nebraskans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty is ready to stand against any effort to cloak Nebraska’s broken death penalty system in secrecy. No matter what people think of the death penalty itself, Nebraskans value transparency and accountability in every aspect of government. In fact, it’s carved in stone above the main entrance of our State Capitol: “The salvation of the state is watchfulness in the citizen.”

Danielle Conrad, Executive Director of the ACLU of Nebraska noted, “Both death penalty supporters and opponents should be able to agree that the most extreme use of state power should absolutely not occur in the shadows. … Any ill-advised effort to limit the rights of citizens, journalists, and criminal defendants to know and understand this process would implicate grave constitutional, legal and policy questions that will come at the expense of the Nebraska taxpayer.”

We will keep you informed of ways you can make your voice heard. A required hearing on the proposed changes is scheduled for Dec. 30 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the State Office Building, 301 Centennial Mall, Lower Level Conference Room. Please mark your calendars and ensure your voice is heard at this hearing!

Thank you to the thousands of people who worked so hard to communicate our message to the voters. Nebraskans across the political spectrum worked together to call for an end to the Death Penalty. Even though the voters have restored capital punishment to state law, the fact is it’s still an inherently flawed system. Innocent people are still at risk of execution. There are still problems with lethal injection. It still doesn’t deter violent crime. It is still extraordinarily expensive. And it’s still contrary to religious and moral beliefs. Life imprisonment is still the better solution.

We have accomplished something truly significant. We engaged thousands of our friends and neighbors – in churches, in civic groups, in coffee shops – in a conversation about an emotional issue. In these difficult conversations, we discovered that when people enter into honest dialog on the facts, they do change their thinking. Change is slow – sometimes infuriatingly slow. But we will continue this conversation with the people to end executions in Nebraska.

Towards justice,

Steve

From all of us at NADP

Friends, today is the day. Let’s make the final stretch count! Today, remind a loved one to vote RETAIN on Referendum 426, help a friend look up their polling place , post on your and post on social media why you are going to #VoteRetain426 to end the death penalty!14711136_347823258886020_4620844092856305010_o

 

 

joann-beatrice-6Joann Taylor, who spent nearly 20 years in prison for a crime she didn’t commit, was joined by 2 attorneys today to share her story and encourage Nebraskans to vote RETAIN on Referendum 426 to keep the death penalty out of Nebraska.

Once, Taylor was told she would be the first female on Nebraska’s death row, and served nearly 20 years in prison for a crime she was later proved to have nothing to do with, said today she is speaking out against the death penalty because the human cost is too great.

“I spent 19 years, 7 months, and 26 days in prison for a murder I did not commit. After my arrest, I was threatened with the death penalty and told I’d be the first woman on death row in Nebraska nearly every day that I was in the Gage County jail until I agreed to plead guilty,” said JoAnn Taylor.

“I want to share my story so Nebraskans understand that wrongful convictions happen here. I’m proof of that fact. An innocent person can be executed. Using the threat of execution to coerce a confession happens in Nebraska and it is wrong. The threat of the death penalty increases the odds that innocent people will end up in prison,” she said.

“I am speaking out to Retain the end of executions in Nebraska because I want to make sure that what happened to me doesn’t happen to anyone else,” Taylor said.

14440950_338740089794337_98531383157455273_nThe Republican Liberty Caucus-Nebraska voted this weekend to oppose the death penalty and support voting to retain LB268!

“The passage of this resolution reflects a growing segment of Nebraska Republicans who recognize that the broken death penalty system can’t be fixed. Those of us who don’t trust the government with our retirement savings or healthcare, certainly can’t trust it to make life and death decisions with perfect fairness and accuracy.” Said State Senator Laura Ebke.

We are grateful to have support of the conscientious state leaders, and this move further proves the bipartisan support for ridding Nebraska of the broken death penalty system once and for all. Vote to RETAIN LB 268 to keep the death penalty out of our state!

Cp6J_ALUIAEzyJhIn a first-of-its-kind study on the cost of Nebraska’s death penalty, a respected economist concluded that the State of Nebraska would save $14.6 million annually if voters replace the death penalty with life imprisonment.

Dr. Ernie Goss, professor of economics at Creighton University, revealed the findings of his study at a  press conference Monday and detailed how the costs in capital punishment are fixed and embedded in the policy by law and the Supreme Court. In total, the report shows that keeping the death penalty costs Nebraska approximately $14.6 million annually (in 2015 dollars) above what the state’s cost for life without parole would be, and each additional death penalty arraignment costs the state almost $1.5 million.

Watch the press conference and read the full report at our Resources Page!

Photo-of-Goss-004Cost is often cited as one of the many reasons people oppose the death penalty, and we wanted to know just how expensive this broken system is here in Nebraska. To find out, we turned to Dr. Ernie Goss from Creighton University and mid-America’s economist of choice. On Monday August 13, at 9:30 am CT, Gross will host a news conference to deliver the findings of a report analyzing the costs of Nebraska’s death penalty. Join us in person or tune in for the live online broadcast of the report!

Join us for an online announcement on Monday at 9:30 am CT to learn what Dr. Goss’s research found.

Livestream link: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/Cy7yMU6Pwf9

imgres-1We are thrilled to announce the official schedule for the Nebraska Journey of Hope Tour from July 15- 24! The group Journey of Hope…From Violence to Healing consists of consists of murder victims family members, death row exonerees, and the family members of death row inmates. Speakers visit cities throughout the state to educate and urge Nebraskans to RETAIN the legislature’s bi-partisan vote to end our state’s death penalty. Check out the full schedule to see who will be visiting your city!

Journey of Hope… from Violence to Healing

blank penWe’re pleased to announce the winners of the “Writing against the Death Penalty” contest. The list of winners and their submissions are below.
***
Writers age 18 and under
Category 1: Poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction
Kyleigh Murray: “The Criminals”
Category 2: Journalism, rhetoric/argument           
Julia Abraham: “We Can Erase the Death Penalty”

Writers age 19 and over
Category 3: Poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction
Mark Arneson: 
“Body Surfing (at the Execution)”
Category 4: Journalism, rhetoric/argument
Christine Starr Davis: “Life Costs Less”

Each of the winners will receive a $100 prize. Thank you to everyone who entered! Many thanks also to our judges and to Fran Kaye for organizing the contest.

shaneclaiborne_lgNational bestselling Christian author and activist Shane Claiborne will be in Nebraska in June to promote his new book Executing Grace and to join the conversation about Nebraska’s death penalty leading up to this November’s ballot question. 

He will be speaking in Lincoln at South Gate United Methodist Church (3500 Pioneers Blvd) on Tuesday, June 7th There will be a first come/first serve book signing from 5:00-5:30 followed by a talk and Q&A from 5:30-7:00.

Claiborne will also be speaking in Omaha at Faith Westwood United Methodist Church (4814 Oaks Lane) on Tuesday, June 7th at 8:00, with a Q&A to follow. Copies of his new book will be available for $15.

Books will be available for $15. The event is being sponsored by Nebraskans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty – there is no cost. For more information, contact Matt at 402-650-4485.’