Death penalty issue most likely on ballot

By: KLKN Newsroom


After months of working to bring back the death penalty, the petition drive is over and the results are in.

Nebraskans for the Death Penalty announced how many signatures they collected Wednesday afternoon, a day before the deadline.  

The group delivered 166, 692 signatures to the Secretary of State. Although the signatures need to be verified, state officials say it should be more than enough to get it on the ballot. It’s also enough to block the repeal of the death penalty, passed by lawmakers, from becoming law until voters decide in the November election in 2016.

Organizers say their goal is to give citizens a voice in the law.

“The salvation of the state is a watchfulness of its citizens. The watchfulness of the citizens of Nebraska has spoken in the last few months and now the people of Nebraska will get the opportunity to vote on this issue. I think that’s healthy for our way of government, I think it’s healthy for the state of Nebraska," says, State Senator Beau McCoy.

The group needed at least 57,000 to put the issue on the ballot, and needed approximately 113,000 to block the repeal.

The repeal was supposed to go into effect on Sunday, but because of the number of signatures, the bill will be blocked until voters have a say in the November 2016 general election.

Nebraskans for the Death Penalty have been collecting voters signatures since June 6th.

On Wednesday, they turned in their signed petitions one day before the deadline.

They were able to obtain 166,692 signatures.

They needed nearly 57,000 signatures to put the death penalty on the November 2016 General Elections ballot.

Since they reached over 113,000 signatures, the abolishment of the death penalty will be suspended until voters have their say.

The next step in the process is for the petition signatures to be verified.

We’ll have more tonight at 5, 6 and 10.