Sunday, 3 June 2007

Two days of death penalty debate took a toll

June 3, 2007


Two days of death penalty debate took a toll

BY LESLIE REED, Omaha World-Herald

"My church teaches me that life is sacred, that no one has a right to take a
life. But the things these men have done - absolutely horrendous things."
- State Sen. Annette Dubas

Annette Dubas woke up feeling anxious March 19 - the morning the Legislature
embarked on its first debate of the death penalty in nearly 20 years.

With 22 newly elected state senators, death penalty opponents saw this group
of unseasoned, untested lawmakers as a chance to change the course of

Dubas felt a heavy responsibility.

"It's not that I didn't want to go, but I had a different feeling about
going in to work," she said. "Everybody was more subdued."

She couldn't shake the thought of having to make a life-or-death decision.

After two days of debate, Dubas joined those voting for repeal. They fell
one vote short of the 25 needed to move it forward.

She was stunned when, the next day, the Nebraska Supreme Court scheduled
Carey Dean Moore to go to the electric chair on May 8. Later, the
Legislature rejected a second repeal effort, and the high court canceled
Moore's execution date.

The death penalty remains law, now awaiting a court decision on whether the
electric chair is cruel and unusual punishment.

Dubas called the two-day debate "the hardest thing I've ever been through in
my life."


Source : Omaha World-Herald

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