The Nebraska Sheriffs’ Association has voted unanimously to back a petition aimed at restoring the death penalty.
The group met on Wednesday morning in Grand Island at the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center.
“It’s important because of the public safety issue,” said Grant County Sheriff Shawn Hebbert, who is president of the sheriffs’ association.
“The death penalty works as a deterrent to protect our guards and our people who work in corrections, as well as our deputies,” he said.
More than 30 sheriffs from across Nebraska attended the association meeting on Wednesday.
They were strongly against the Legislature’s 32-15 vote on LB268, which repealed the death penalty. Gov. Pete Ricketts vetoed LB268, but the Legislature countered with a 30-19 vote to override the veto.
Not only did the association members support backing the petition drive led by Nebraskans for the Death Penalty, but Hebbert said many of the sheriffs in attendance will be carrying the petitions in their home counties.
The petition drive would need about 58,000 valid signatures to place the death penalty on the November 2016 general election ballot.
It needs about 115,000 signatures by August to keep the Legislature’s repeal of the death penalty from going into effect.
“The initial goal is to get enough signatures to keep the law, the repeal, from going into effect, and the secondary goal is to turn it over to a vote of the people,” Hebbert said.
Although not all 93 Nebraska counties were represented at the sheriffs’ association meeting, Hebbert said the vote itself by the association’s executive board was representative.
Source: omaha.com, June 11, 2015
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