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The fire moved quickly through the house, a one-story wood-frame structure in a working-class neighborhood of Corsicana, in northeast Texas. Flames spread along the walls, bursting through doorways, blistering paint and tiles and furniture. Smoke pressed against the ceiling, then banked downward, seeping into each room and through crevices in the windows, staining the morning sky.
Buffie Barbee, who was eleven years old and lived two houses down, was playing in her back yard when she smelled the smoke. She ran inside and told her mother, Diane, and they hurried up the street; that’s when they saw the smoldering house and Cameron Todd Willingham standing on the front porch, wearing only a pair of jeans, his chest blackened with soot, his hair and eyelids singed. He was screaming, “My babies are burning up!” His children—Karmon and Kameron, who were one-year-old twin girls, and two-year-old Amber—were trapped inside.
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Nebraska: Economist Goss issues invitation to debate costs of death penalty

"Nebraska spends an average of $14.6 million annually to keep the death penalty."
"Nebraska spends an average of $14.6 million annually to keep the death penalty."
Dr. Ernie Goss, professor of economics at Creighton University, is frustrated with death penalty proponents' constant challenge of his study on the cost of capital punishment in Nebraska.

So on Friday, he issued a challenge of his own. Goss wants Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson, who has attacked the study, to appear with him at a public forum to debate it.

It appears Peterson is turning down the invitation.

Goss sent a letter to Peterson Friday saying there have been repeated misstatements, half truths, and misrepresentations from the Attorney General's office about the cost analysis. It showed Nebraska spends an average of $14.6 million annually to keep the death penalty, beyond what life imprisonment costs the state.

"The economic impact of the death penalty is an important component of the death penalty discussion, and voters deserve to have the real and whole truth," Goss said.

He asked that Peterson and he come together to each present their research on the cost so voters could analyze the data and decide for themselves the economic impact of Nebraska’s death penalty.

Peterson replied in a news release that he is confident in Nebraskans’ ability to determine the facts when they vote on the death penalty in November.

He said he has provided information from actual Nebraska cases and the information is available on the attorney general's website: http://ago.nebraska.gov/media/news/view/101182/nebraska-facts-about-nebraskas-death-penalty.

Nebraskans will vote on Nov. 8 whether to retain a law (LB268) passed in 2015 that repealed the death penalty, or repeal that law.

Source: Lincoln Journal Star, October 29, 2016

Dr. Goss Asks AG Peterson for Public Forum on Cost of Death Penalty “...so voters can analyze the data and decide for themselves what the economic costs of Nebraska’s death penalty are"


LINCOLN, NE – Dr. Ernie Goss, professor of economics at Creighton University, today asked Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson to join him in a public forum to present their research on the cost of Nebraska's death penalty.

In August, Dr. Goss presented a study that revealed Nebraska’s maintenance of the death penalty cost the state $14.6 million annually above what the state’s cost for life without parole. Attorney General Peterson has repeatedly challenged the study and criticized Dr. Goss’ work.

Dr. Goss sent the following request Friday afternoon to AG Peterson:

"There have been, what I regard, as repeated misstatements, half truths, and misrepresentations from your office about the cost analysis I conducted showing Nebraska spends an average of $14.6 million annually to keep the death penalty, beyond what life imprisonment (without the possibility of parole) costs the state.
The economic impact of the death penalty is an important component of the death penalty discussion, and voters deserve to have the real and whole truth. I request a public forum for you and I to come together to both present our research on the cost of the death penalty so voters can analyze the data and decide for themselves what the economic costs of Nebraska’s death penalty are.
Thank you."

Sincerely,
Ernie Goss, Ph.D.
MacAllister Chair & Professor of Economics
Creighton University
Omaha, Nebraska 68178

Ernie Goss, Ph.D., is the Jack MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University and is the initial director for Creighton's Institute for Economic Inquiry. He is also principal of the Goss Institute in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Goss was a visiting scholar with the Congressional Budget Office for 2003-04, and was appointed by the Nebraska Attorney General to head a task force examining gasoline pricing in the state in 2005. He served as a faculty research fellow with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1991 and 1992. Dr. Goss has conducted studies for the Platte Institute for Economic Research, a free market research and educational think tank, founded in 2008 by Pete Ricketts, now Governor of Nebraska.

Source: Retain a Just Nebraska, October 29, 2016. Retain a Just Nebraska is a public education campaign to urge the retention of LB 268, the Nebraska Legislature’s vote to end the death penalty. Supporters include fiscal conservatives, law enforcement officials, faith leaders, murder victims’ families, and Nebraskans from all walks of life. It is a statewide coalition conducting public education on the smart alternative of life in prison without parole, which protects society without the many problems of our death penalty system.

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