Photo Credit: Thia Hartley
NADP is currently in a time of transition, as our operations coordinator Matt Maly has moved on to pursue other endeavors. We are incredibly grateful for the work Matt has done for NADP and for his tireless advocacy on behalf of ending the death penalty in Nebraska. Matt’s last day with the organization was October 31.
Although Matt will be greatly missed, rest assured we’re as passionate as ever about once again replacing the death penalty with life without the possibility of parole. In the months to come, we’ll continue to brainstorm and experiment about the best ways to move towards that goal. In particular, NADP remains committed to educating Nebraskans about the problems of our broken death penalty system and supporting abolition efforts in our current political climate.
While this climate remains mostly unchanged in Nebraska following the recent mid-term election, NADP finds encouragement in the results elsewhere. States with death-penalty moratoriums, including Pennsylvania and Oregon, re-elected governors who pledged not to resume executions. Colorado elected a governor who campaigned on the repeal of the state’s death penalty, and Illinois incumbent Bruce Rauner suffered an overwhelming defeat in the governor’s race after trying to bring back capital punishment in the state.
NADP is also encouraged by the recent decision from the Washington State Supreme Court, which struck down the death penalty due to its disproportionate impact and arbitrary application. In State v. Gregory, issued October 11, 2018, Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst wrote for the majority in an opinion signed by four other justices. “[T]he use of the death penalty is unequally applied — sometimes by where the crime took place, or the county of residence, or the available budgetary resources at any given point in time, or the race of the defendant.” The majority opinion goes on to state, “The death penalty, as administered in our state, fails to serve any legitimate penological goal.”
Four justices signed a concurring opinion agreeing the death penalty should be invalidated, but for additional reasons, stating: “Where a system exists permeated with arbitrary decision-making, random imposition of the death penalty, unreliability, geographic rarity, a
nd excessive delays, such a system cannot constitutionally stand.”
It’s time to follow suit and end the death penalty in Nebraska. Be sure to follow NADP on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date on this important issue and find out about our future plans as an organization and ways you can get involved. You can also reach us by emailing email@example.com.