This week, the Nebraska State Legislature voted 32-12 to repeal the death penalty and replace it with life in prison without parole. This makes Nebraska the first conservative state to repeal the death penalty since North Dakota did so in 1973.
Nebraska Senator Laure Ebke, who is a Republican, said, “It’s certainly a matter of conscience, at least in part, but it’s a matter of trying to be philosophically consistent. If government can’t be trusted to manage our health care… then then why should it be trusted to carry out the irrevocable sentence of death?”
The bill marks a shift in the national debate because it was bolstered by conservatives. Although Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts vowed to veto the bill, it appears that the legislature has the support to override the veto. Law-and-order conservatives in the United States have traditionally stood among the strongest supporters of the ultimate punishment.
North Carolina Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty applaud this effort in Nebraska. Ballard Everett, Statewide coordinator for the group said “We believe there are strong conservative arguments as to why the death penalty should be replaced with life in prison without possibility of parole (LWOP). We encourage conservative leaders in North Carolina to begin an earnest discussion about replacing the death penalty with LWOP.”
The death penalty has become a costly, inefficient government program and does not serve as a deterrent. We should not trust the government, which often makes mistakes and is fraught with inefficiency, to subject our citizens to executions.
Furthermore, we call upon conservative lawmakers in North Carolina to follow Nebraska’s lead and take a close look at this issue. The true conservative stance is to repeal the death penalty and replace it with life in prison with our parole.
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