Nebraska just became the 19th state to ditch the death penalty.
A bipartisan contingent of state lawmakers on Wednesday (May 27) narrowly overrode the governor's veto of a bill passed the previous week to repeal the state's longstanding death penalty. Nebraska joins 18 other states, and Washington D.C., in banning capital punishment. It is, however, the first conservative state to do so in more than 40 years, following North Dakota's repeal in 1973.
Nebraska's legislation, known as LB268, takes effect in 90 days, replacing lethal injection with a maximum punishment of life in prison. The law is retroactive, which means the sentences of the 11 inmates currently on the state's death row will be commuted to life without parole.
In defending the law, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle voiced concerns that the death penalty -- which the state last implemented 1997 -- had proven too costly and was morally objectionable.