Heated debate about the state’s execution protocol

Posted By: Rachel Hofstra

The public had a chance to share their opinions on the state’s execution protocol.

"Make a workable policy, implement it, and let these sentences be carried out," said Rick Eberhardt.

Nebraska recently voted to bring back the death penalty and now the state needs a new execution protocol to facilitate that. The Department of Correctional Services held a hearing Friday morning. It gave the public a chance to share their opinion on the state’s new procedure.

"I appreciate the opportunity to comment on that and I urge you to rethink this," said Greg Wright.

One section in particular was highly debated.

This part says the director can make any records or information about a company supplying the drug for lethal injection confidential.

Some say there shouldn’t be this secret and the public has a right to know.

"We’ve already had a bad experience in the state where, some would say, we were essentially scammed out of over 50 thousand dollars for a promise that drugs were going to be sent. We would never know about that incident if these protocols would be in place," said Spike Eickholt.

Others say the reason behind the confidentiality is needed to protect the companies and people involved in the executions.

"I think they would harass, threaten, pursue, and intimidate anyone who speaks out against or participates in an execution," said Rick Eberhardt.

The Department of Correctional Services says the next step in this process is to compile and review all testimonies made.

A summary of Friday’s hearing will be included in the final draft of the protocol. This will be given to the Attorney General’s office for review and to the Governor’s office for approval, prior to filing it with the Secretary of State.