Good News: Nebraska repeals death penalty
It was an emotional debate in the state legislature. It always is on this issue, as legislators stood and made references to religion, to morality, to conscience - and also to simple practicality and budgetary issues.
At the end of it all, the legislature voted 30-19, the minimum necessary, to override the governor's veto of Legislative Bill 268.
What does all that mean? It means that Nebraska is now the 19th state to repeal the death penalty - and the first predominantly conservative state to do so in more than 40 years.
In fact, 18 conservative members of Nebraska's unicameral legislature joined 12 more liberal members to provide the 30 votes needed for the override.
There is, it develops, a small but emerging movement among conservatives of people who oppose the death penalty either on moral or practical grounds and Marc Hyden, national coordinator of a group called Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, predicted in the wake of the override that cases such as this, where conservatives provide the margin of victory in pushes to end the death penalty, "will become more common."
And wouldn't that be good news.
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