JoAnn Taylor, who spent nearly 20 years in prison for a crime she didn’t commit, was joined by two attorneys today to share her story and encourage Nebraskans to vote RETAIN on Referendum 426 to keep the death penalty out of Nebraska.
Taylor was once told she would be the first female on Nebraska’s death row, and she served nearly 20 years in prison for a crime she was later proven to have nothing to do with. Today, she is speaking out against the death penalty because the human cost is too great.
“I spent 19 years, 7 months, and 26 days in prison for a murder I did not commit. After my arrest, I was threatened with the death penalty and told I’d be the first woman on death row in Nebraska nearly every day that I was in the Gage County jail until I agreed to plead guilty,” said Taylor.
“I want to share my story so Nebraskans understand that wrongful convictions happen here. I’m proof of that fact. An innocent person can be executed. Using the threat of execution to coerce a confession happens in Nebraska, and it is wrong. The threat of the death penalty increases the odds that innocent people will end up in prison,” she said.
“I am speaking out to Retain the end of executions in Nebraska because I want to make sure that what happened to me doesn’t happen to anyone else,” Taylor said.