death penalty

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts vetoed legislation passed last week that repealed the state's death penalty.

"Please sustain my veto. Please stand with the citizens of Nebraska and law enforcement for public safety," he said, flanked by law enforcement personnel, murder victims' family members and state lawmakers who support capital punishment.

Lawmakers in Nebraska have given final approval to a measure that would abolish the death penalty with enough votes to override a threatened veto from Gov. Pete Ricketts.

The vote was 32-15. Conservative Nebraska has a unicameral Legislature and all bills go through three votes. In the previous round, the vote was 30-16; in the first, it was 30-13. It would take 30 votes to override a veto from Ricketts, a Republican. If that happens, Nebraska will become the first Republican-controlled state in the U.S. to repeal the death penalty since North Dakota in 1973.

Buzzfeed updates their recent story about Oklahoma misleading the U.S. Supreme Court in a lethal injection case. Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s office admits it was an “inadvertent citation error.”

Buzzfeed reports that the Oklahoma attorney general’s office misrepresented the facts behind a key argument about the availability of certain execution drugs in its filings at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The death penalty is legal in more than 30 states, but the long-controversial practice has come under renewed scrutiny after a series of botched executions in several states last year.

Opponents of capital punishment argue that the death penalty undermines the fair administration of justice, as wealth, geography, race and quality of legal representation all come into play, with uneven results.

Utah's Senate has approved a measure that would allow a firing squad to carry out the death penalty if the drug to carry out lethal injections is unavailable.

The vote was 18-10, and it's unclear if Republican Gov. Gary Herbert will sign the measure, which would make Utah the only state in the nation to allow firing squads, into law. The state abandoned the practice a little more than a decade ago.

Executions are again on hold in Oklahoma after the U.S. Supreme Court granted the state's request to postpone lethal injections while justices review a challenge over the use of a particular sedative.

The court on Wednesday ordered Oklahoma to halt lethal injections after both the state and the lawyers for three inmates who faced execution between now and March requested the temporary stay.

The justices agreed Friday to consider the challenge to the use of the sedative midazolam, which has been used in problematic executions in Arizona, Ohio and Oklahoma.

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed today to review Oklahoma's method of execution by lethal injection. The justices agreed to hear the Oklahoma case a week after refusing to halt another execution that used the same drug formula.

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Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This past year, the number of inmates executed in America was the lowest in two decades at 35, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

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