Tuesday, February 24, 2009

February 8, 2008. Death of the electric chair in Nebraska, yet the Death penalty is still breathing.
Of the 89 cases that went to trial  with the prosecution seeking death in Nebraska between 1973 and 1999, 83 ended up being, effectively, life in prison without parole.

Source(s): Death Penalty Information Center: www.ncc.state.ne.us/docum#44f65
60% of all Nebraskans agree that defendants who can afford good lawyers almost never receive a death sentence.

Source(s): March-April 2007, Myers Research/Strategic Services, Virginia 
A North Carolina study concluded that, even if the death penalty were 100% efficient, ie., if every death sentence resulted in an execution, the extra costs of the death penalty would still be $216,000 per case over a maximum sentence of life without parole.

Source(s): http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org
"Without the involvement of physicians and other medical professionals, it is unlikely that lethal injection will ever meet a constitutional standard of decency. But do we as a society want the nations physicians to do this? We believe not."

Source(s): The New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 358, January 24, 2008
"The application of the death penalty is about as rational and orderly as who wins the lottery."

Source(s): Prof. David P, Gushee, Associated Baptist Press www.abnews.com/1683.arti#44f8c

Monday, February 23, 2009

For every execution in Nebraska between 1973 and 2007, more than 4 death sentences were commuted.

Source(s): www.corrections.state.ne.us
Who gets life and who gets death in Nebraska cases "approximates the outcome of a coin toss"

Source(s): http://www.ncc.state.ne.us/documents/other/homicide.htm
Defendants in death penalty cases in Nebraska whose victims are wealthy are 5.6 times more likely to be sentenced to death than are those whose victims are poor.

Of the 1,057 executions in the
United States between 1976 and May 2007
• 15 were white persons whose victims were black
• 213 were black persons whose victims were white

Source(s): Death Penalty Information Center
124 people have been released from death row
in the U.S. since 1973. Collectively, these exonerated
inmates spent 1,120 years on death row before being
released with evidence of their innocence.

Source: Death Penalty Information Center
Of the 124 persons exonerated from death row
with evidence of their innocent since 1973

• 62 are Black
• 49 are White
• 12 are Latino
• 1 is unknown

Source(s): Death Penalty Information Center
Wrongful convictions extend beyond death row.
DNA evidence alone, through The Innocence Project,
has exonerated 204 inmates since 1989,
including 15 who served time on death row. Of these
204 innocent persons

• 122 are African American
• 57 are White
• 19 are Latino
• 1 is Asian American
• 5 are unknown

Source(s): The Innocence Project
In a 1993 death penalty case, the United States
Supreme Court ruled that new evidence of actual
innocence is not a sufficient reason for a federal
court to order a new trial

Source(s): HERRERA v. COLLINS, 506 U.S. 390 (1993)
The murder rate in death penalty states was 48% to 101% higher than in
non-death penalty states between 1980 and 2000

Source(s): The New York Times, September 22, 2000; Death Penalty Information Center
The average of murder rates (per 100,000 population) in 2005 was

• 5.3 among 38 death penalty states
• 2.8 among 12 non-death penalty states

Source(s): Death Penalty Information Center
There were more than 1,800 murders in Nebraska between 1973 and 2007

• 31 resulted in a death sentence being imposed
• 13 death sentences were commuted
• 10 are on death row & on appeal
• 4 died in prison
• 3 were executed
• 1 was freed

Source(s): www.ncc.state.ne.us/docum#44F65;
http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/necrimn.htm; www.corrections.state.ne.us
In Nebraska and elsewhere, major studies have uncovered an overall rate of error in death penalty cases of 68%. Courts in Nebraska and elsewhere have found serious, reversible error in nearly 7 of every 10 cases that are prosecuted as capital cases.

Source(s): www.ncc.state.ne.us/docum#44F65
“It is clear that minorities [in Nebraska] are more likely to have their [death penalty] cases advance to a [death] penalty trial and less likely to have a plea bargain than are whites.”

Source(s): Professor Baldus, presentation of study
findings, UNL College of Law, August 7, 2001
Less than 0.0016% of all murders in Nebraska between 1973 and 2007 resulted in a death sentence being carried out.

Source(s): http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/necrimn.htm; www.corrections.state.ne.us
“Thus, the ratio of persons murdered to persons executed for murder from 1977 to 1996 in the U.S. was in the ballpark of 1,000 to 1.”

Source: John J. Dilulio, “Abolish the Death Penalty, Officially,” Wall Street Journal, December 15, 1997.
A national study estimates that between 1982 and 1997, the extra cost of death penalty trials to counties nationwide was $1.6 billion, and that counties manage these high costs by decreasing funding for highways and police and by increasing taxes.

Source(s): Death Penalty Information Center; National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper No. w8382, Issued in July 2001
51% of Nebraskans support life in prison without parole as an alternative to the death penalty, while 41% oppose it. 54% of the respondents were registered Republicans, 34% Democrats, and 12% independents.

Source(s): March-April 2007 Poll, Myers Research/Strategic Services, Virginia
62% of Nebraskans agree that the death penalty is too arbitrary because some people are executed while others serve prison terms for the same crimes.

Source(s): March-April 2007 Poll, Myers Research/Strategic Services, Virginia
Of Nebraska’s 177 most heinous murders between 1973 and 1999, some 24 resulted in a death sentence. And of these, 13 were commuted to a sentence less than death.

Source(s): Source(s): www.ncc.state.ne.us/docum#44F65; www.corrections.state.ne.us
In a poll of 368 police chiefs and sheriffs in the U.S., the death penalty ranked dead last as a crime-fighting tool. 48% of these public safety officials ranked reducing drug abuse and a better job market as the top two most effective law enforcement tools.

Source(s): http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org
Nebraska's chief death penalty prosecuter, state Solicitor GeneralJ. Kirk Brown volunteered that the costs range from $250 million for each execution in California to 1.7 times more than life in prison without parole in Kansas.

Source(s) Lincoln-Lancaster League of Women's Voters forum on the Death Penalty, January 15, 2008: www.deathpenaltyinfo.org
If Nebraska spent just 50% of the national average of more than $1 million
on each of its 89 death penalty prosecutions between 1973 and 1999, then
Nebraska spent $45 million to execute 3 people.

Source(s): Death Penalty Information Center:
Defendants in death penalty cases in Nebraska whose victims are wealthy are 5.6 times more likely to be sentenced to death than are those whose victims are poor.

Source(s): www.ncc.state.ne.us/docum#44F65

Saturday, February 21, 2009