State of the Death Penalty in Nebraska
As Nebraska officials continue to try every avenue they can imagine to carry out an execution, Nebraskans Against the Death Penalty (NADP) has been busy sharing the message that it is time for this broken, failed policy to go. In the Spring, we saw another execution date come and go as serious questions remained about how Nebraska officials obtained their lethal injection drugs. Then in late March, a district judge ruled that the FDA violated the law by allowing states to import lethal injection drugs from other countries. While the ruling applied to Nebraska, our Attorney General ignored the court order to turn over the drugs, and instead demanded that the FDA appeal the decision. After other states demanded the same thing, the FDA finally filed an appeal. This leaves the Nebraska death penalty system in legal limbo again, and adds to the never-ending waiting game that victims’ family members have been playing for decades now.
Meanwhile, NADP has been reaching out to supporters who were not yet involved and making new friends with those who previously opposed our work. In April, a very ambitious volunteer organized a concert at the Bourbon during Lincoln’s First Friday Art Walk to Benefit NADP. During the event, Curtis McCarty talked about serving 19 years on Oklahoma’s death row for a crime he did not commit. Many students from the University and other area colleges were in attendance and told us how impactful it was to hear his story and realize that given the high risk of executing an innocent person, the death penalty does not seem worth it.
We have tabled at several community events, presented to college classes and spoke to several church groups and book clubs in the last few months. At the beginning of June we held a couple of trainings entitled “10 Tough Questions about the Death Penalty”. During these trainings, we equipped supporters with the information and best practices to answer the hardest questions that people ask about the death penalty. Participants left better prepared to talk to their co-workers over the water cooler, their families over holidays and even their state legislator about their opposition to the death penalty. If you are bummed you missed out, you are in luck! We will be holding these trainings again in the fall. Sign up for our email updates, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter for the latest information about these events.
Over the summer we will be attending all sorts of community gatherings in the hopes of continuing to grow our diverse coalition of supporters. We are also looking ahead to the fall when school is back in session and community groups start to meet again. Do you know a teacher who might want us to present to their students or are you in charge of finding a speaker for your community or church group? Email us. We would be happy to speak to your class or group. We are also starting the planning for our 2012 Annual Reception and Silent Auction to be held in Lincoln on October 11th. Be sure to mark your calendar now so you can join us for this exciting and motivating event!