Nebraska Supreme Court refuses to reconsider electric chair ban

[JURIST] The Nebraska Supreme Court [official website] Wednesday rejected a motion for rehearing [JURIST report] filed by state Attorney General Jon Bruning asking the court to reconsider its February ruling [PDF text; JURIST report] that execution by electric chair is "cruel and unusual" punishment and therefore prohibited by the Nebraska constitution [text]. Bruning said he would appeal the decision to the US Supreme Court [press release, PDF].

The February decision held that since unconsciousness and death are not instantaneous, many condemned prisoners will consciously suffer when electrocuted. The court's majority wrote that the ruling was based solely on state law, making the decision unlikely to be reviewed by the US Supreme Court. Last month, the Nebraska legislature rejected [JURIST report] a bill [LB 1063, PDF] that would have banned the death penalty altogether, replacing it with a sentence of life in prison without parole. Omaha's KETV has more.



 

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