Nebraska Lawmakers Vote To Abolish Death Penalty With Veto-Proof Majority

Nebraska Lawmakers Vote To Abolish Death Penalty With Veto-Proof Majority.
Seven years ago I predicted that New Jersey’s legislative repeal of capital punishment would be a herald of change. At a one day symposium I organized (proceedings here, key resources here) we heard from prosecutors, defenders, legislators, the Governor, and the citizen group which mobilized to bring about the change. It was a great example of the dynamic relationships between courts, elected officials, and citizens. “Legislation, litigation, reflection, and repeal” was the title. The theme was “justice cools the fierce glow of passion by passing it through reflection”. That is what has happened in Nebraska, which will soon merit the illumination of the colosseum in Rome, as did New Jersey in December 2007.
As is now well known we hold 25% of the world’s prisoners. That is the legacy of slavery and racism. Movements like Right on Crime reflect a national move away from mass incarceration – too little, and late – but important and necessary if we are every to overcome our history. – gwc

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