Amnesty International USA urges the state of Nebraska not to resume executions, ahead of plans by the state to carry out its first execution in 21 years on August 14.
“The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights,” stated Kristina Roth, Senior Program Officer for Criminal Justice Programs at Amnesty International USA.
“The U.S. capital justice system is fundamentally broken. Rather than joining those states that have turned against this cruel and irrevocable punishment, Nebraska chooses to take a backward step that provides no constructive solutions to the challenges posed by violent crime.”
The last execution in Nebraska was carried out in December 1997. Since then, the death penalty landscape in the U.S. has substantially shifted. Seven states have abolished the death penalty, and four others have imposed moratoriums on executions. During the same period, over 40 more countries have abolished the death penalty for all or ordinary crimes, bringing to 142 the number that are abolitionist in law or practice.
Nebraska has carried out three executions since 1976 when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld new capital statutes. All three were conducted in the 1990s and carried out by electrocution. This would be Nebraska’s first execution by lethal injection, and the first in the U.S. to use fentanyl as part of the lethal injection protocol.
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty unconditionally, regardless of the crime or the method of execution chosen by the state. Amnesty International activists have been calling on Nebraska not to allow executions to resume.