Recent Articles on Retain a Just Nebraska

Life Means Life: A life sentence in Nebraska means life in prison

LIFE MEANS LIFE A life sentence in Nebraska means life in prison, no chance of parole. Some advocates of bringing back the death penalty have said that Nebraska doesn’t have life without parole,  this is a lie. Nebraska law does NOT allow probation or parole for anyone sentenced to life in prison. “I spoke to Bob Houston and I spoke to Don Kleine who’s Douglas County Attorney about this issue and a couple of other attorneys, and under the statute the difference between “life” under 1A and “life without parole” is merely semantics, there is no actual difference. read more »

Public Safety: The death penalty does not prevent crime

PUBLIC SAFETY The death penalty does not prevent crime Police officers don’t believe the death penalty is an effective deterrent. Police chiefs ranked the death penalty  last  among effective ways to reduce violent crime. A full 99% said that changes such as reducing drug abuse or improving the economy were more important than the death penalty in reducing violent crime. read more »

Costs: An Alarming Price Tag

COST An Alarming Price Tag: The Wasteful, Inefficient Government Program The death penalty’s complexity and finality make it much more costly than life without parole.  Capital cases necessitate an initial three-part trial: the guilt phase, sentencing phase, and review by a three-judge panel. All this takes place before the constitutionally mandated appeals process. read more »

Cruelty: The death penalty harms family members

CRUEL TO VICTIMS’ FAMILIES Nebraska murder victims’ families have said our death penalty causes them further harm Capital punishment prolongs pain for victims’ families, dragging them through an agonizing and lengthy process that holds out the promise of an execution at the beginning but often results in a different sentence. read more »

Innocence: Nebraska’s criminal justice system can’t get it right

INNOCENCE “The most haunting fear for a prosecutor is that the system could make a mistake, sending an innocent person to death.”  Brent M. Bloom, former chief deputy Douglas Country prosecutor.[1] Nebraska’s criminal justice system can’t get it right In Nebraska, the overall error rate in death penalty cases is 68 percent, meaning that courts have found serious, reversible error in nearly 7 of every 10 death penalty cases. read more »

Fairness: A moving target

“Our conclusion is that this [Nebraska’s death penalty system] is a classic example of disparate treatment, that is, people are being treated differently on the basis of factors that have nothing whatever to do with their culpability but rather on the socioeconomic status of the victim that they have killed. It’s a system-wide influence that exists in both the major urban counties and it exists in greater Nebraska. read more »