Earlier this afternoon, Nebraska's state legislature voted to override the governor's veto and BAN the death penalty!
Victories this deep on issues this important can feel rare, and this is a moment to savor.
The veto override passed 30-19 with strong bipartisan support. This was the 38th time that State Senator Ernie Chambers has introduced the ban since 1981, and he is a true hero in this fight. So are the thousands of other faith leaders, human rights advocates, and citizen activists who raised their voices to fight for what's right and end this deeply evil law.
Over the past week, 26,000 Care2 members signed a petition started by the Rev. Jason Emerson. Father Jason is an ordained Episcopal priest in Omaha who became active in the fight against Nebraska's death penalty 14 years ago. The petition was picked up by the Omaha World Herald and Huffington post, helping ramp up pressure on lawmakers to make the right decision.
"Nebraska is a better state because of the actions of thoughtful conservatives, liberals, and Care2 members," said Father Jason. "It is heartening that responsible governing is still possible here and beyond. So many people worked for so long to bring this about, and they are an example of persistence for us all."
Care2 salutes and congratulates Senator Chambers, Father Jason, the members and staff of Nebraskans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, and the many others who fought so hard for so long for this incredible moment.
But the fight isn't over – 31 states still have the death penalty and over 3,000 Americans remain on death row. Some of them are certainly innocent, a disproportionate number are minorities, and none of these executions will deter crime or save a single penny. This is an evil law, and it makes the United States look like we're stuck in the 18th century. It's time for every state to follow Nebraska's bipartisan lead.
Will you take a bigger part in this fight, and start a Care2 petition today? If the death penalty is legal in your state, you can ask your state senator to introduce a bill that would ban it. If you live in one of the states where there is no death penalty (congratulations to Care2's Nebraska members!), is there another human rights or civil rights issue you care about?
Citizens like you earned this victory, and together, we can earn many more. Thank you.