Doug Peterson

Nebraska Attorney General

Attorney General's Response to Death Penalty Repeal

The bill passed by the Legislature, over the Governor’s veto, states, “It is the intent of the Legislature that in any criminal proceeding in which the death penalty has been imposed but not carried out prior to the effective date of this act, such penalty shall be changed to life imprisonment.” We believe this stated intent is unconstitutional.

Nebraska’s Constitution reserves to the Board of Pardons the exclusive power to change final sentences imposed by courts. Thus, the Attorney General intends to seek a court decision, at the appropriate time, to definitively resolve the issue of the State’s authority to carry out the death sentences previously ordered by Nebraska’s courts for the 10 inmates now on death row.