ALCU challenges transparency of new death penalty protocol propo - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

ALCU challenges transparency of new death penalty protocol proposal

ALCU challenges transparency of new death penalty protocol proposal

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Posted By: Nicole Cousins

ncousins@klkntv.com

With the death penalty back in Nebraska, the Department of Corrections is working on changing the current protocol to carry out the capital punishment.

Proposed amendments were released Monday.

State leaders say the tweaks are minor.

"This is mirroring regulation that has been on the books since 2009," Governor Pete Ricketts said.

The American Civil Liberties Union disagrees.

"For the governor to say there's really no major changes here, we will respectfully disagree agree with that assertion,” Danielle Conrad, Executive Director of the ACLU, said. “And if that was the case, we wouldn't be looking at a 14 page proposal here."

Among those changes include giving the Corrections director authority to not tell the public what kind of drugs they're using.

A kind of flexibility the State says will help finally carry out a death by lethal injection.

"This is something that is similar to what other states have done," Ricketts said.

But opponents like the ALCU say its too secretive.

"This provides more questions rather than answers,” Conrad said. “This provides more problems rather than solutions."

While the type of lethal drugs aren't outlined in the proposal, it says the inmate on death row will be notified of the cocktail contents 60 days before the death warrant is issued. That gives the inmate time to review and challenge the drugs if they so choose.

The ALCU says the 10 inmates currently on death row aren't the only ones who have the right to know those contents, especially when tax dollars are at stake.

"We can have differences of opinion about the death penalty but we should all side on the same side of having an open policy when it comes to the death penalty," Conrad said.

There will be a public hearing about the proposal December 30th at the state office building.

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