Another wonderful visit with my beloved sister, Kerry Lyn Dalton.
May 17, 2015.
Victoria Thorpe, Kerry Lyn Dalton, Raymond Reyes.
We want to bring her home before 2015 is over!
Nebraska Repeals the Death Penalty Today!
As I lay back in a dental chair this afternoon, voices debating who should be killed, and who should not kill, filled my left ear. The Nebraska Senate would soon be voting whether or not to override the governor’s veto of their approval to repeal the death penalty.
Bright overhead lights were blurring the figure looming over me as she gently said “You’ll feel a little pinch.”
I focused my eyes to see the syringe coming at me clearly. It struck me how much alike the dental chair was to an execution table. Our executions are orchestrated quite like a visit to the dentist; sterile syringes and all.
No matter how we dress it up, it’s still comes out the same; our country still practices killing to prove that killing is wrong.
For that moment I closed my eyes and made myself imagine what it might be like to be strapped onto an execution table – waiting to be killed, listening to the bustle of those doing their job, knowing an audience would watch silently as life was drained from my body. Suddenly it felt too real in that dental chair listening to the angry voices flood my ear describing bloody murders, passionate statements for compassion, or dull voices asking for justice.
Which side knew what justice meant?
“How’s that feeling?” the dentist sat close on my right side.
“aam yus fi,” was all I could mutter with a mouthful of rubber stretched across my teeth.
Then the drill began so I turned up the sound on my phone and focused on the debate.
Senator Ernie Chambers lead the discussion to override the governor’s veto of the Nebraska legislative approval to abolish the death penalty. Repeal was approved with a two-thirds vote on three occasions before going to governor Pete Ricketts’ desk. He promised he would veto it – and he did so promptly.
Today after over 2 hours of senate testimonies the vote was 30 to 19 in favor of repeal of Capital Punishment. They had what it took to override the veto.
The facts shared in support of repeal covered the very real possibility of executing the innocent; 152 people have been exonerated from U.S. death rows since 1973, the arbitrariness of its use, the disproportionate racial representation, the much higher cost than life without parole (LWOP), there is no data supporting it provides deterrence, and the fact we know the system is fallible and humans are fallible. Examples were given of cases where blatant misconduct lead to wrongful convictions.
(see Ray Krone http://www.witnesstoinnocence.org/exonerees/ray-krone.html,Cameron Todd Willingham http://www.innocenceproject.org/news-events-exonerations/cameron-todd-willingham-wrongfully-convicted-and-executed-in-texas ,Damon Thibodeaux http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/louisiana-death-row-inmate-damon-thibodeaux-is-exonerated-with-dna-evidence/2012/09/28/26e30012-0997-11e2-afff-d6c7f20a83bf_story.html )
The counter statements offered to uphold the death penalty were in regards to retribution, honoring the governor’s decision, and religion demanding the death penalty.
Words from Genesis to the book of Romans, even the passages leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus, and references to Christianity were included throughout the debate.
At one point a Senator called-out Chambers as an atheist and wondered how then he could support life and why should they take his opinion seriously.
Another interesting point was made by a Senator who reminded us who the other countries are that kill their own citizens; Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia.
There are 142 countries which have abolished the death penalty. This Senator’s point was no one should kill, and especially not the state.
When all was said and done, just after 2:00 pm Pacific time (4:00 pm in Nebraska) the vote was called and the death penalty was taken off the table.
This is the 19th state to abolish the death penalty. How about Washington becoming the 20th?