Tuesday, August 14, 2018

A death in Nebraska and a governor out for bloodlust

Just how badly does Pete Ricketts want to kill people?

Enough that the Nebraska governor and his father spent $300,000 of their own money for a petition drive to put the death penalty on the ballot in 2018 after the state legislature voted to abolish it in May of 2015 (they even overrode the governor's veto).

Bound and determined to kill people, the governor vowed to execute as many inmates as possible before the deadline and even to kill inmates in defiance of the new law. It does seem a bit odd for a governor who swore to uphold the laws of the state tell all who will listen that he will ignore the law if he doesn't like it.

Currently Nebraska has ten inmates on death row and hasn't carried out an execution since 1997. So why on earth is Gov. Ricketts so hung up on the death penalty?

It certainly has nothing to do with deterrence or punishment or anything else to do with the criminal (in)justice system. There hasn't been an execution carried out in 20 years -- there doesn't appear to be any groundswell of support for killing inmates.

Until today, that is. Carey Dean Moore was executed this morning. He is the first inmate to be executed using a lethal cocktail containing fentanyl.

The execution was carried out when a panel of three federal judges denied drug maker Fresenius Kabi's request for a stay due to their concerns that Nebraska acquired the drugs for the execution (two of which were Fresenius Kabi believes were drugs they made) through back channels.

While Fresenius Kabi has not taken a stand on the death penalty, they only sell to suppliers who sign an agreement not to sell to federal or state correctional facilities. Nebraska has refused to release the name of the supplier who only agreed to sell the state one dose of the drugs.

For proponents of the death penalty such as Gov. Ricketts, it isn't about strapping an inmate to a gurney and injecting him with poison. It's about control. It's about having the power to make a life-or-death decision.

Ironically enough you see politicians like Gov. Ricketts try to justify their support of the death penalty with the bible. His position is at odds with Pope Francis who called the death penalty an attack on the dignity of the person. All of the governor's arguments (as well as all of the protestant supporters in the US) are based on the Old Testament. Sure, he will tell you he's pro-life and for the criminalization of abortion without once questioning the consistency of his beliefs.

But that's because it's not about what's supposedly written in a book that has been translated from multiple languages over the centuries and then edited to have a more "modern" appeal. That's just a rationalization.

So tell us, Gov. Ricketts, why the fuck is it so important for Nebraska to kill people?

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