VOTE to RETAIN Nebraska’s End of the Death Penalty

In Nebraska, a sentence of life prohibits the inmate from being paroled. Life in prison without parole is a smart sentence that puts public safety first. It also is less expensive than the death penalty.

The death penalty does not keep us safer because it does not prevent murders. States with the death penalty, such as Missouri, have a higher murder rate (8.3 per 100,000) than nearby states that don’t have a death penalty, such as Iowa (2.3 per 100,000). Eight of the 10 states that still have the death penalty have the highest murder rates. Even murder rates inside prisons are lower in states that don’t have the death penalty. Those convicted of murder say that they never considered whether there was a death penalty

Not having the death penalty also does not cause murderers to be released to kill again. With extremely rare exceptions (1 in the U.S. every 20 or 30 years), those who are released and then kill have not been convicted of murder but of lesser offenses, such as manslaughter.

The death penalty itself does kill the innocent. All across the U.S., convictions of death row inmates have been overturned because DNA evidence has absolved them of guilt. So far, over 150 death row inmates have been released.

The death penalty also is used as a threat, abusively, against innocent persons, such as the Beatrice six, to coerce them into accepting plea bargains. Those of limited mental capacity especially suffer.

The death penalty does not provide closure to victims’ families. Instead, they must face years of appeals, reversals, and media attention. Many victims’ families testified against the death penalty in Nebraska during the legislative process which ended Nebraska’s death penalty. In addition, Nebraska ranks last in support for victims of crimes; money saved without the death penalty could be used to increase this support.

Fran Kaye at Oct. 30 Meeting

ceresco-mtg-10-30-16-aOur thanks to Fran Kaye of Retain a Just Nebraska for her informative talk about the need to vote to Retain Nebraska’s elimination of the death penalty. She also talked about the need for serious reform of Nebraska’s foster care system, to prevent children’s deaths in foster care and institutions. Fran spoke to us at the discussion Oct. 30 at the Ceresco Community Center.

 

New County Chair

The Executive Committee met at the home of Alan and Nancy Meyer in Cedar Bluffs on Oct. 23. The Committee accepted the resignation of Phillip Richmond and, in accordance with the Bylaws requirement, installed the Vice Chair, Mikel-Jon Divis, as Chair, leaving the Vice Chair position open until a replacement can be found. At the County Meeting following adjournment of the Executive Committee, Saunders County Democrats present confirmed the Executive Committees action and Mikel-Jon Divis as Chair.

Oct. 9 County Meeting

Twelve Saunders County Democrats and 3 guests were present at the County Meeting Oct. 9, 2016, at Bordeaux Pizza in Ashland. imag0014

Those present discussed the coming Banquet plans for decorations and persons responsible for various tasks during the event, submitted information about and money from ticket sales, and made suggestions about topics, speakers, and the schedule for future County Meetings.

Discussion included that getting out the vote was not only about winning specific elections, because the proportion of registered Democrats who vote also determines how much money and other resources we receive from the State and National Democratic Party and the number of delegate seats Nebraska Democrats get at the National Convention. In addition, in the “off” years, turning out the vote gives us a real chance to elect Democrats to local offices.

Officers explained we are having regular monthly County meetings after the Executive Committee Meetings, and a few more before the election, because Democrats need to get to know each other to become active. We need volunteers to serve not just as Precinct Captains but as Precinct and Community Committees. We also need to recruit candidate for 2018 elections. Jack Eager and others strongly suggested having “drawing cards,” such as speakers at these meetings.