Friday, 8 February 2008



ACLU Nebraska and Nebraskans Against the Death Penalty heralded the
Nebraska Supreme Court's opinion issued today in State v. Mata, holding
the electric chair is cruel and unusual and may not be used any longer.

Amy Miller, Legal Director for ACLU Nebraska and Chair of Nebraskans
Against the Death Penalty, said, "Nebraska's electric chair was made in
1919, and we're still using that same chair. In 1919, the world was very
different: women could not vote, people of color were denied virtually
every protection of law, union organizers were openly arrested and beaten,
and child labor permeated American industry. We aren't still driving Model
T Fords, and we shouldn't be using any other machinery from the 19th
Century now in the 21st Century. The Nebraska Supreme Court's elimination
of the electric chair was almost a foregone conclusion, given the modern
world's standards of decency."

"But it's not just the machine that is archaic--the concept of executing a
few of those criminals who murder people is also archaic. Even if we
install new, modern machinery or adopt a new method of execution to take
lives, our dignity as humans is comprised when we kill with taxpayer
money. We are simply too civilized to cling to the bloodthirsty fashions
of a past era. The Court has clearly pointed out that it is bound by the
actions of the Legislature, and it is time for the Legislature to
completely abolish the death penalty."

(source: ACLU Nebraska and NADP are both non-profit, non-partisan
organizations located in Lincoln, Nebraska.

No comments: