Governor Calls Special Session

Governor Mike Johanns said Tuesday that the state cannot wait to change its death-penalty laws, which are under fire in the courts. Johanns called a special session to start November 7th, two days after the general election, to change the death-penalty laws. The decision came two days after Johanns met with Attorney General Don Stenberg and county prosecutors to discuss the possibility.

The state's law that sets out how killers are sentenced to death is under scrutiny by the courts as possibly being unconstitutional. Johanns also said he is concerned that Nebraska is the only state left that uses the electric chair as its sole means of executing people. That could lead a court to rule the practice as cruel and unusual punishment.