Nebraskans could be presented with a ballot measure that would inquire into the repeal of capital punishment in the state if a proposed initiative is accepted and implemented. The initiative is being put forth by a group of citizens, urging Nebraskans to weigh the economic and moral ramifications of the death penalty when considering their vote.
Proponents of the initiative have cited the significant costs of administering capital punishment in the state, stating that the exorbitant associated expenditures could be better utilized for other programs and services. Moreover, the moral argument has been brought to the forefront of the debate, with advocates of the proposal suggesting that the death penalty should be abolished due to its ineffectiveness in deterring crime and its potential for wrongful convictions.
Should the initiative gain approval, it would be placed on the November 2016 ballot for Nebraskan voters to decide. Advocates of the measure have expressed optimism that the citizens of Nebraska will recognize the impracticality of capital punishment, and that the state will ultimately join the growing list of those that have abandoned the death penalty.
Opponents of the proposal, however, are expected to challenge the initiative, emphasizing that capital punishment serves as a deterrent to violent crime and is necessary to protect society. They are likely to cite the fact that Nebraska has not executed an inmate since 1997, suggesting that the death penalty is not utilized in a manner that would warrant its repeal.
The proposal to repeal capital punishment in Nebraska is currently under consideration, and if accepted, could provide citizens with the opportunity to weigh in on the issue. Whether or not the initiative will be placed on the ballot for the 2016 election remains to be seen, but the debate surrounding the death penalty is sure to continue until then.