Nebraska Repeals the Death Penalty

Today’s vote by the Nebraska legislature to repeal the death penalty was historic. In overriding itsĀ governor’s veto of itsĀ previous repeal vote, the legislature added Nebraska to the growing minority of states without the death penalty. The legislators, Republicans and Democrats alike, who voted for repeal had various reasons for doing so. But from a sociological perspective, the death penalty does not deter homicide; it is applied in a racially discriminatory manner, especially when the race of the homicide victim is considered; it is applied in an arbitrary manner; it probably has resulted in the execution of innocent people; and it costs more money than life imprisonment. The United States is the only democracy to still use the death penalty, as other democracies decided long ago that capital punishment has no place in modern civilization. Other states that retain the death penalty should follow Nebraska’s fine example.