Nebraska lawmakers fail to advance bill to abolish the death penalty

By  | 

LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) -- The perennial battle over the fate of the death penalty in Nebraska hit the wall in Lincoln Thursday as Nebraska lawmakers failed to advance the latest attempt to abolish capital punishment.

The effort ran out of steam after hours of debate.

It's only been about three years since Nebraska voters reinstated the death penalty.

Despite impassioned pleas senators who wanted to outlaw it punishment fell eight votes short of what was need to advance the measure in a first round vote.

The measure stalled with 17 lawmakers voting for it and 25 against.

In 2016, Nebraskans voted to reinstate the death penalty. That was a big point of discussion Thursday. Some senators said you shouldn't go against the will of the people. Others believe you should vote according to your own morals.

Just like in 2015 the debate on the floor became emotional and often got into the challenge of who's really pro-life?

Sen. Mike Moser said, "Unborn babies are innocent.” He said, “Heinous killers are not innocent."

Sen. Megan Hunt said, "All of your Bibles say “thou shall not kill.” It doesn't say thou shall not kill innocent life. That's just something ya'll telling yourselves."

Sen. Wendy DeBoer said, "Respecting the 2016 is very important. But my faith and what is right is more important to me than anything else. The death penalty just isn't right.">

It was Sen Ernie Chambers, of Omaha, the longtime opponent of capital punishment, who introduced the bill as he's done for more than four decades.

Seven senators did not vote Thursday.