May 28, 2015

NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE BANS DEATH PENALTY: The legislature overrode Governor Pete Ricketts’ veto, by a 30-19 vote.

The measure replaces lethal injection with a maximum punishment of life in prison. It will take effect in 90 days, which would be late August or early September depending upon when the Legislature adjourns. The law could be blocked temporarily, however, if opponents gather signatures from 10 percent of registered voters in a referendum effort in the next three months. Voters would then decide the fate of capital punishment.

Legal experts say the repeal erases the statutory means to carry out a death sentence in Nebraska, meaning the 10 men currently on death row will serve de facto life sentences.

It also means that the two men who are each charged with four Omaha murders — convicted killer Nikko Jenkins and accused killer Anthony Garcia — will no longer face the death penalty.

Nor will Roberto Martinez-Marinero, the 25-year-old man accused of killing his mother and throwing his 4-year-old brother, Josue, in the Elkhorn River.

Sounds like a proportional punishment: Kill your mother and 4 year-old brother, and get life in prison with free medical and room and board.

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