Death Penalty Hearing at Capitol - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Death Penalty Hearing

Death Penalty Hearing at Capitol

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Posted By: Sarah Fili

Several spoke at a hearing on the death penalty Tuesday night, with just three weeks away from a vote on whether or not to have capital punishment.

Now, both sides are full steam ahead trying to sway last minute voters.

By law, the Secretary of State has to hold an open meeting to gather feedback when a petition is on the general election ballot.

The topic? Last year's Legislative Bill 426- repealing the death penalty from Nebraska and changing the maximum sentence to life in prison.

Those for the death penalty spoke first, citing crime deterrence and justice for families as the reason to keep the law on the books.

They say it's reserved for the most heinous crimes. Attorney General Doug Peterson said, "Being applied only to those who commit first degree murders of children, repeat or mass murderers, or those who kill police officers, or those whose first degree murder crime involve exceptional depravity such as torture."

Vivienne Tuttle also spoke. She lost a daughter in the Norfolk Bank robbery several years ago.

“So she took that last check to the bank to cash it and while she was there 3 men came in and in 40 seconds they killed my  daughter and 4 other bank employees, oh its a  broken system, well fix it don't get rid of it, just fix it,” Tuttle said.

If you stand with them, and want to see the death penalty come back, vote repeal to repeal the legislature's ruling.

Those against the death penalty took the podium to encourage voters to retain LB 426 and keep the death penalty out of Nebraska, saying it's too costly.

Miriam Kelle had a brother who was tortured by Michael Ryan, who died of an illness on death row last year.

"The death penalty can't be shortened because the Supreme Court mandated that the capital cases be treated with extreme care, this makes perfect sense, no one wants to see an innocent person executed, but the result is inevitable hardship on victim's families," said Kelle.

“Our broken death penalty system costs us 14.6 million dollars, more than life without parole every year. As taxpayers, we're getting ripped off,” said Matt Maly, someone against the Death Penalty.

All the statements made will go on official record. Secretary Gale says when you get to the ballot box, no matter your stance, remember you're not voting on the death penalty, but whether to repeal the legislation that abolished it in the first place.

If you stand with the Legislature, and want to keep the death penalty out of Nebraska, vote retain.

If you want to see it come back, vote repeal.

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