Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Monday, September 26, 2016


            We, the comrades of Unit 1012, have a serious warning for those who support the death penalty in the State of Nebraska. Please vote repeal to save the death penalty and NEVER, NEVER vote retain as it will abolish capital punishment. These two articles will explain why:

Beau McCoy: Repeal: We should make punishments fit the crimes
Midlands Voices
Sep 4, 2016


 The author, a state senator from Omaha, is co-chair of Nebraskans for the Death Penalty.

In less than 10 weeks, voters will decide the future of capital punishment in our state.

This summer, opponents of the death penalty spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising in an attempt to influence public opinion.

Death penalty opponents also paid $16,000 to economist Ernie Goss to produce a report on the costs of the death penalty.

That study has serious flaws.

It is not an independent, unbiased fiscal analysis.

The Goss study is based on academic theories and statistics, not actual costs paid by Nebraska taxpayers.

Goss uses U.S. Census Bureau figures to arrive at a cost-savings figure.

But unlike a fiscal study, Goss did not include actual costs of enforcing and defending capital punishment incurred by Nebraska state and local government.

Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson called Goss’ report “misleading” and said it “failed to accurately reflect actual costs associated with the death penalty in Nebraska.”

Goss’ study ignored three 2015 fiscal analysis notes prepared by the Legislature’s Fiscal Office.

Each fiscal note showed no cost savings associated with replacing the death penalty with life imprisonment.

Fiscal notes are not to be taken lightly — they are developed for every bill introduced in the Legislature and define authoritatively the impact each bill has on the state budget. The lack of respect given to the Legislative Fiscal Office in the rush by death penalty opponents to embrace the Goss study is astounding.

So instead of getting caught up in the flawed Goss study, I suggest focusing on the reasons we have a death penalty in Nebraska.

Through numerous appeals, the convictions of Nebraska’s 10 current death row inmates have been affirmed.

The death penalty serves as an appropriate punishment for the most horrific of criminal acts and is used sparingly. It protects society from individuals who serve as an undeniable threat to our communities and families and serves as a deterrent against more heinous acts.

Also, Nebraska law allows capital punishment for the murder of a law enforcement officer — particularly relevant after the assassinations of Dallas and Baton Rouge law enforcement officers this summer.

Going forward, I expect the federal government will come up with a drug protocol to carry out the capital sentence given to the Boston Marathon bomber.

This protocol will provide a new pathway for Nebraska and other states to similarly carry out executions through lethal injection.

For these reasons, my support for capital punishment remains steadfast.

This November, when given the choice on my ballot to retain or repeal Legislative Bill 268, I will vote repeal to keep the death penalty.

Confusion could affect death penalty vote
By Eugene Curtin / Times Associate Editor
Sep 20, 2016

Bob Evnen
Nebraskans for the Death Penalty will soon launch a multi-media effort to inform voters about potentially confusing language on the Nov. 8 general election ballot.

Bob Evnen, an attorney and co-founder of Nebraskans for the Death Penalty, told a gathering of the Sarpy County Pachyderm Club Thursday that voters wishing to retain the death penalty must mark the “repeal” oval on the ballot. The confusion arises because voters will be asked whether they wish to retain or repeal the Nebraska Legislature’s 2015 decision to abolish capital punishment.

A vote to “retain,” he said, will confirm the Legislature’s decision to abolish.

A vote to “repeal” will undo that vote and reinstate the death penalty.

Evnen told the gathering of Sarpy County Republicans he is confident voters will overrule the Legislature.

Surveys continue to show that Nebraskans support the death penalty by a 2 to 1 margin, he said.

Evnen made his comments in the meeting room of the Shadow Lake Hy-Vee where he described capital punishment as a moral and practical good.

“Capital punishment is an act of moral accountability for the most heinous crimes committed by the most depraved killers,” he said.

“We don’t do it very much in our state. We sentence people to death only in a very limited number of cases, a limited number of crimes, and that is as it should be. But that doesn’t mean you get rid of it.”

Evnen said it is difficult to end up on Nebraska’s Death Row, and outlined the brutal nature of murders committed by those who have landed there.

He dismissed concerns about wrongful conviction, asserting that death penalty opponents must reach back to the 19th century to find a Nebraska Death Row inmate who might credibly be considered innocent of a capital crime.

Nebraska’s death penalty law requires a complex weighing of aggravating and mitigating circumstances, he said, which means only the most heinous crimes are likely to be eligible.

Law enforcement officials are overwhelmingly in favor of the death penalty, Evnen said, in part because they believe capital punishment exercises a deterrent effect on criminals who understand that murdering a police officer could result in a death sentence.

He also dismissed concerns about the cost of keeping the death penalty.

He said studies showing high costs, such as a recent study by Creighton University economics professor Ernie Goss, are not credible and fail to show the other side of the ledger.

The Goss study, which showed the death penalty costing Nebraska taxpayers $14 million a year, was a composite of statistics from other states, Evnen said, and bears no relation to actual costs in Nebraska.

He said the study also failed to account for cost savings incurred when expensive trials are avoided after suspects plead guilty to first-degree murder in exchange for a promise that prosecutors will not seek the death penalty.

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