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Nebraska legislature rejects death penalty ban

[JURIST] A Nebraska bill [LB 1063, PDF] that would have banned the death penalty, replacing it with a sentence of life in prison without parole, failed in the Nebraska Legislature [official website] on Tuesday, receiving only 20 of the 25 necessary votes to move forward. Last month, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] that execution by electric chair, the only method authorized in the state, was "cruel and unusual" punishment and therefore prohibited by the Nebraska constitution [text]. Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman on Tuesday voiced support for the death penalty [press release], saying that the the legislature should decide on a new means of execution that can pass constitutional muster.

In February, Nebraska Attorney General Jon Brunning filed a motion for rehearing [JURIST report] on the ban of the electric chair. Nebraska is the only state to solely rely on the electric chair for capital punishment. AP has more. The Omaha World-Herald has local coverage.

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