Nebraska Evangelical Leaders Call for End to Death Penalty
Evangelical leaders from across Nebraska are united in their call for an end to their state's death penalty. And we want to do everything in our power to help them. Are you from Nebraska? Do you know someone who is? Then this information is for you! Please read on.
Lawmakers in Nebraska have voted overwhelmingly—30-13!—to repeal the death penalty. All eyes are on Nebraska, but the fight isn't over. This vote is only round one. There is another round of debate and two more votes to win before the bill goes to the Governor's desk. And if Governor Pete Ricketts vetoes the bill, as he's promised, we need to hold on to all 30 of those votes to override it.
Nebraska's criminal justice system is not free of human error. People have been wrongfully convicted and the needs of families of murder victims are not always served. When violence traumatizes our communities, God calls on us to provide support and comfort to those families affected. Nebraska's death penalty has failed to serve these goals, and often inflicts additional harm on murder victims' families. Earlier this year, over two dozen Nebraska murder victims' family members urged lawmakers to end the death penalty. They noted that "the death penalty is a false promise that goes unfulfilled, leaving victims' families frustrated and angry after years of fighting the legal system."
We also find it difficult to reconcile the death penalty with a culture that values all human life and recognizes that everyone is made in God's image. As Christ taught throughout his ministry, no one is ever beyond redemption. Yet the death penalty risks cutting short the process of redemption in the lives of those imprisoned.
Read a personal reflection from the executive director of Nebraskans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty to learn how she moved from supporting the death penalty to fighting it.
We applaud the Nebraska Legislature's recent efforts to advance legislation repealing the death penalty, and urge our elected officials to ensure that this important legislation becomes law.
If you are a resident of Nebraska, please go to Equal Justice USA's action alert to tell your senator what you think of their vote on the repeal. (Once you enter your zip code, you'll be told how your senator voted.) Let's sound out a resounding "Thank you!" to the senators who voted YES on repeal and a respectful "Please reconsider!" to those who voted NO.
Our friends at Equal Justice USA are also working to add signatures to a letter from evangelical pastors in Nebraska. Contact Heather Beaudoin at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.