Friday, February 15, 2008

You Might Be Surprised at Who Supports Old Sparky

The New Nebraska Network went off on the Nebraska Republican Party over the death penalty. I love the picture of a black-costumed "Death" looming in the blog post, but I wonder if the writer's words overreached a bit.

Here's an excerpt from the NNN post:

The party criticized Democrat Ben Nelson [for, as governor, appointing the justices who threw out electrocution as a violation of the state constitution]. But, this isn't about being rationale [sic]. It certainly has nothing to do with justice.

This is about blood lust - plain and simple. The Nebraska Republican Party has declared they don't care one bit how we kill people just so long as we can kill people. They have forsaken all standards of decency and humanity with their insatiable hungers for revenge and political gain.

These are some seriously twisted and deranged freaks that are calling the shots for the Nebraska GOP. They bring shame upon the many good and decent people who call themselves Nebraska Republicans.

Perhaps I’m in denial, but I’m not feeling shame brought on by the blood lust of seriously twisted and deranged freaks who have forsaken all standards of decency and humanity. (If this the standard of criticism on something like this, what is there left to say about al-Qaeda?)

I and Republican Mike Foley (former state senator, current state auditor) were staunch opponents of the death penalty. Lots of Democrats supported it, and still do, regardless of the method of execution.

As for method of execution, it was death penalty OPPONENTS who fought the switch to lethal injection.

I remember filling out a candidate questionnaire in 2000 and saying that I would support a switch from the electric chair to lethal injection. Better to put people asleep forever than fry them alive, I thought.

I was contacted by death penalty opponents who were aghast at my answer. They explained that they did not want execution made more palatable.

At first I was stunned. You would have people smoke and burst into flames to suit your political agenda? Then someone asked: Would you support a measure to make abortion painless, and thus perhaps more acceptable?

Hmm. I saw their point.

Let me repeat: I am against the death penalty. But NNN seemed upset that Republicans were adamant about keeping Old Sparky plugged in.

The problem isn't a desire to cook people instead of poison them. The concern is that the time for introducing new bills in the legislature has passed for 2008, so legislators can’t respond to the court ruling. It’s in effect a repeal of the death penalty for 2008.

When a federal court ruling jeopardized electrocution in 2002, the legislature called a special session to address it. Maybe that will happen this year.

Meanwhile, please note that the support of electrocution cuts across party lines, and the current crisis is in part the result of death penalty opponents working to prevent the switch to lethal injection.

1 comment:

OmaSteak said...

You'll find reading the New Nebraska Network blog to be a serious waste of time...unadulterated 100% far left, progressive propaganda.
I disagree with you on having the death penalty, but I understand your position in context of your well-known "pro life" philosophy. I'd support eliminating the death penalty and replacing it with "life with zero possibility of parole" if we can't shorten the post-conviction appeals process to a period of less than a couple of years.