Death penalty repeal rejected

Ernie Chambers

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ A proposal to abolish the death penalty in Nebraska is dead for the year.

Supporters on Tuesday failed to muster the 33 votes needed to force an end to debate in the Legislature. The vote was 28-21 to cut off a filibuster.

The failure to reach a vote on the bill pushes it to the bottom of the Legislature's agenda.

The measure was introduced by longtime Sen. Ernie Chambers, who has fought for nearly four decades to end capital punishment. Chambers says he will introduce a repeal measure again next year.

Nebraska has 11 men on death row. Ray Mata of Scotts Bluff County is one of those 11 men, and is scheduled to be executed for the 1999 murder and dismemberment of 3 year old Adam gomez of Scottsbluff. The last inmate executed in Nebraska was Robert E. Williams, who was electrocuted in 1997.

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