Nebraska Democrat Kills Death Penalty Drug Secrecy Bill
Nebraska’s state legislature is unique in the nation in three ways:
(a) It is a unicameral legislature (the only other such legislature is the US Virgin Islands territory)
(b) It has the smallest number of legislators (thus, though Democrats are in the minority it is easier to compromise with Republicans or oppose their agenda)
(c) It is the only state legislature that is officially non-partisan (though senators associate with parties). The legislature’s senators are affiliated with parties: 33 Republican, 14 Democratic, 1 Libertarian, 1 Independent
LB 661 is a bill that was introduced in the beginning of the year similar to other death-penalty states that are having difficulties obtaining drugs. It’s aim is to shield the manufacturers, distributors, procurers, &c from public scrutiny about who supplies death penalty drugs.
Such laws run counter to government accountability, however in the interest of killing people in the name of the State, you do what you gotta do.
Nebraska repealed the death penalty, but the current governor Pete Ricketts (R) financed a referendum in the last election that successfully overturned its abolishment. (I do not recall another state where the death penalty was abolished then reinstated.)
Such laws obscuring the nature and sourcing of drugs to kill people have real consequences outside the death penalty regardless of what you might think of that penalty: It puts people who depend on those same drugs at risk of being unable to obtain them if the company manufacturing them refuses to sell them. (That has happened with Phenobarbital, used in a few states to kill convicts: The drug is used as a last-resort epilepsy drug and to quell continuous seizures in emergencies - its manufacturer was ordered by the EU to stop selling to death penalty states.)
One of the unsung achievements of President Obama’s first term was to negotiate a settlement with the EU to permit the drug’s continued sale to the tens of thousands of people in the USA that depend on it to control epilepsy and for emergencies - including me.
Back to LB 661: Such a bill if it were to pass in the Unicameral would almost certainly be signed by Governor Pete Ricketts (R). That in turn would likely lead to a ban of sales of drugs that could be used to kill people in Nebraska, causing the state to seek drugs without oversight by the press or people outside the state.
Senator Adam Morfeld (D, District 46, a portion of Lincoln) notes that LB 661 will not advance in this legislative session. He also notes our governor wants to kill people so badly he worked to unseat three Republicans that voted for the repeal bill and the override of his veto.
caucus99percent.com (a copy of an E-mail sent to one of his constituents):
This year the Governor and his allies introduced LB 661 which would have made all death penalty drugs and protocols secret from the public. Just as I promised, I helped lead the fight against LB 661 and it will not advance this year.
Just as I stood with you against the death penalty in the Legislature and as the co-chair of Retain a Just Nebraska, I hope you will stand with me … (Donation Request Deleted)
Last year the Governor opposed and unseated three of his fellow Republicans for their vote to repeal the death penalty, and we are preparing for the same kind of campaign attacks from the Governor in my own race.
Thank you for your support. I look forward to continuing to work with you to oppose the death penalty.
46th Legislative District
Voters and activists in Nebraska have been getting help from Democrats in Colorado on how to effectively address issues in our state legislature and how to support or oppose legislation.
People like Senators Adam Morfeld (D), Ernie Chambers (I), and Laura Ebke (Libertarian) rarely get credit or notice on liberal Websites for fighting the good fight in Republican-controlled state legislatures. As the old saw goes, all politics is local. They should get support.