Nebraska’s legislature recently made headlines when it ended the state’s death penalty. Many found it odd that a conservatives-dominated legislature would support ending capital punishment, since conservative politicians have traditionally supported the death penalty. However, an increasing number of conservatives are realizing that the death penalty is inconsistent with both fiscal and social conservatism. These conservatives are joining with libertarians and liberals in a growing anti-death penalty coalition.[+]
After more than two hours of emotional speeches at the Capitol here, the Legislature, by a 30-to-19 vote that cut across party lines, overrode the governor’s veto of a bill repealing the state’s death penalty law. After the repeal measure passed, by just enough votes to overcome the veto, dozens of spectators in the balcony burst into celebration.[+]
Mark L. Earley, Virginia’s attorney general during one of the busiest execution stretches in modern state history, has changed his mind about capital punishment.
“If you believe that the government always ‘gets it right,’ never makes serious mistakes, and is never tainted with corruption, then you can be comfortable supporting the death penalty,” he wrote in a recent essay for the University of Richmond Law Review.[+]