As we see discussion of Nebraska’s death penalty increasing in newspapers across the state, it is important for our perspectives to be fully represented. The most effective way to make your voice heard is to submit a Letter to the Editor of your local newspaper.
Your letter is most likely to be published if you keep it short and positive. Typically this means 150-250 words. (Be sure to include your address and phone number. This personal information won’t be published in the newspaper, it’s just so the newspaper can verify the letter’s authenticity.) You can visit www.usnpl.com/nenews.php to find links to the online editions of most papers in Nebraska. Each newspaper has its own submission process which can often be found on their individual webpage.
Here are some recently published Letters to the Editor from around the state. Will you make your voice heard as well?
Death penalty does not bring closure July 20, 2010 | Grand Island Independent
I was reading in the newspaper the other day about the cost of remodeling the death chamber and listed the names of the men on death row and the victims names. I wondered how the loved ones of those murdered felt about reading there loves ones name. Are we really helping murder victim family members by having the death penalty and having to read about there loved ones murder over and over again for years and years. One of the murders happened 30 years ago and they still have to read about it. How are they going to get full closure if they have to keep reading about it?
For the sake of murder victim family members all citizens of this state should be asking the candidates for the Nebraska Legislature if they support the death penalty and not vote for the ones that do. The citizens of this state need to stand up and say we want a end to the cycle of violence that the death penalty brings us.
Kurt Mesner, Central City
Don’t improve execution, stop it July 14, 2010 | Omaha World Herald
I was saddened to read a July 8 news story about Nebraska’s new method of carrying out the death penalty. What is the fascination with state executions? How many of us will feel safer and happier knowing we now have a legal means of execution?
In the last session, the Legislature was unwilling to investigate the costliness of the death penalty, despite the efforts of State Sen. Brenda Council of Omaha. Thankfully, the death penalty has been carried out only three times in recent history in Nebraska and is not scheduled in the near future. But that is still three times too many.
The bland descriptions of the process by Nebraska Corrections Director Bob Houston and warden Dennis Bakewell apparently are meant to assure the public that competent and skilled personnel have been appointed to execute for the state. However, this is contradicted by the inhumane nature of the act.
The executioner will stand behind one-way glass, and the three types of poison will be sent through tubes in the wall. The room has been enlarged and made more “user friendly.” It was almost grisly to see the video of the “death bed.”
We should not be fixated on the death penalty. We should abolish it.
John Krejci, Lincoln
Death penalty won’t stop crime July 14, 2010 | Omaha World Herald
Apparently, Joanne Smith (July 12 Pulse) is unaware that execution can cost more than lifelong incarceration. So, her argument about wasting Nebraska tax dollars fails.
Like so many, she picks and chooses from the Bible. What about “Thou shall not kill”? I don’t see any qualifiers there.
No one who commits a violent crime resulting in death is considering the death penalty, or even incarceration.
Joyce Dunn, Omaha
I take no pride in death penalty July 12, 2010 | Omaha World Herald
I have read (July 8 news story) about the newly converted Nebraska death chamber at the Lincoln penitentiary, and the attitude seems how proud we are of ourselves. We get to legally kill again. It makes me sick to my stomach.
Marylyn Felion, Omaha