Death Penalty Opponents Applaud Decision


The following is a news release from death penalty opponents.   Be sure to take part in our death penalty non-scientific poll on our home page.

            ACLU Nebraska and Nebraskans Against the Death Penalty heralded the Nebraska Supreme Court's opinion issued today in State v. Mata, holding the electric chair is cruel and unusual and may not be used any longer.

Amy Miller, Legal Director for ACLU Nebraska and Chair of Nebraskans Against the Death Penalty, said, “Nebraska's electric chair was made in 1919, and we're still using that same chair.  In 1919, the world was very different: women could not vote, people of color were denied virtually every protection of law, union organizers were openly arrested and beaten, and child labor permeated American industry.  We aren't still driving Model T Fords, and we shouldn't be using any other machinery from the 19th Century now in the 21st Century.  The Nebraska Supreme Court's elimination of the electric chair was almost a foregone conclusion, given the modern world's standards of decency.”

“But it's not just the machine that is archaic–the concept of executing a few of those criminals who murder people is also archaic.  Even if we install new, modern machinery or adopt a new method of execution to take lives, our dignity as humans is comprised when we kill with taxpayer money.  We are simply too civilized to cling to the bloodthirsty fashions of a past era.  The Court has clearly pointed out that it is bound by the actions of the Legislature, and it is time for the Legislature to completely abolish the death penalty.”

            ACLU Nebraska and NADP are both non-profit, non-partisan organizations located in Lincoln, Nebraska.