Nebraska's billionaire governor couldn't preserve the death penalty through the law, so now he's buying a ballot initiative


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/11/02/nebraskas-billionaire-govern.html


#2

Wait. Could it be? Is it possible? Might he be a…Republican?

Oh, the shocker.


#3

Death Penalties being commuted to Life Without Parole, or Long Term Employees as the prison system probably views them?


#4

Damn! This guy really, really wants to kill someone.


#5

While I don’t agree, I can understand somebody concluding sadly, this prisoner’s crimes are so horrible, he must die. But I simply can’t understand, “Yeeee-haw! Fire up Ol’ Sparky boys! We havin a pig roast!”

Do I recall, before his presidency, George Bush was America’s killinest governor? Is there a prize or something?


#6

While I truly have no problem executing some of the monsters out there, the death penalty is completely broken, is a misuse of funds, and should be abandoned.


#7

I think that they need to clearly define what the prison sentence is supposed to achieve. If it is re-education/therapy, then the prisoner should get that. If it is public safety, then just locking people up and keeping them comfortable is the way to go. If it is some sort of idea of exacting punishment, then they could be as medieval as they want. They just need to be up front about their objectives.


#8

Are you kidding? No, no! That would make us think about bad things! Dancing With the Stars! Dancing With the Stars!


#9

Let me get this straight: in Nebraska you can pay to have something be voted on in a referendum (and potentially have it become law)?
Openly?

How is that in any shape or form considered anywhere remotely close to a democratic process?


#10

You can do it in California, too.

Step #1 of many ballot initiatives: mainstream GOP/Dem politicians hire one of the many Californian petition-collecting firms to drum up the required number of signatures.

These signature collecting firms are profit-driven mercenaries; details of the proposed initiative are largely irrelevant.


#11

Do they get to frame the referendum question too?

“Do you think that rapists, murders and paedophiles should be free to roam our streets, or do you think we should retain our current system of deterrents?”


#12

Being raised in Nebraska, reading this article was a waste of my life…


#13

Need a California local to answer that. I was under the impression that the questions are phrased by the people proposing the referendum, though.


#14

Which makes the $400k he’s spending worthwhile to a few people.


#15

So. . . the Senate was being fiscally responsible, saving $14million that was going to a vacant pointless death row, and he wants the state to continue spending that money “just because”?

It’s like if you get rid of your car because you’re riding the subway all the time, but keep paying for car insurance just in case you have a car again someday.


#16

Nebraska’s death row isn’t vacant: it has 11 prisoners waiting for execution.

The last prisoner was executed in 1997, by electric chair. They tried to execute someone else, but in 2008 (State vs. Mata), the defendant successfully got the Supreme Court of Nebraska to declare that execution by electric chair was cruel and unusual.

Since then, Nebraska has switched to lethal injection as its method of execution, but when they tried to get sodium thiopental in 2011 to perform the injection, they got sued by the supplier, and by the time the lawsuit was resolved, the drugs had expired.

It’s more like debating whether or not to get rid of your car because you can’t get it fixed up to meet modern fuel-efficiency and emissions standards. And some guy is saying, “No, we need that car! We’ll get it fixed, you’ll see!” And the prisoners just keep riding the subway (except for the eleven who have been stuffed unceremoniously in the back of the car until it can be fixed and can take them to their final destination).


#17

I think they can write the proposal that goes out for signatures, but usually a bipartisan committee writes the final ballot measure text. While it can be contentious, and sometimes part of the committee writes a dissenting opinion, you usually get better ballot measures when they are written by professionals. :slight_smile:


#18

Wait. A trust fund billionaire is throwing a temper tantrum when his whims are opposed by the will of the people? Inconceivable.


#19

In my view, capital punishment is a power no government should have over its citizens. War is horrible enough without adding premeditated murder to the State’s prerogatives.


#20

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