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Nebraska Voters Could Reinstate the Death Penalty

by Countable | 10.27.16

The death penalty is one of the most controversial issues in American politics. This November, voters in Nebraska will choose whether to overturn their state’s ban on capital punishment.

What the Referendum Does

This referendum would ask voters whether they want to repeal Nebraska’s ban on the death penalty and reinstate capital punishment, or whether they’d like the ban to remain in place.

A vote to retain the state’s current ban on the death penalty would leave life imprisonment as the maximum penalty for first-degree murder.

This referendum will appear on Nebraska ballots on November 8 as "Referendum 426."


The death penalty is the only way to bring murderers to justice and deliver a measure of closure to those close to the victim. The most heinous criminals shouldn’t live off the taxpayer dime.


The criminal justice system is too unreliable to risk executing an innocent person, and many facing the death penalty sit on death row for years before their sentence is carried out.

In Depth

The Nebraska’s legislature passed a bill prohibiting the death penalty in 2015, but Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts vetoed it on May 26, 2015. The next day, the legislature (which only has one chamber, unlike every other state) voted to override the veto on a 30-19 margin, which is notable because although legislators in Nebraska are officially nonpartisan, most identify as Republicans.

The death penalty is currently permitted in 30 states, and lethal injection is the primary execution method. Twenty other states have abolished the death penalty, with five doing so in just the last seven years. An additional four states have governors that imposed moratoriums on carrying out the death penalty, so that while the practice remains legal, it isn’t used.

— Eric Revell
Map by Death Penalty Information Center


Written by Countable

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