New death penalty debate resonates in Nebraska

May 5, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The bungled execution of an inmate in Oklahoma is casting new attention on the death penalty in Nebraska, where capital punishment remains on the books but no one has been executed in nearly two decades.

Nebraska's supply of sodium thiopental, a key lethal injection drug, expired in December, leaving the state with no way to carry out executions.

Some lawmakers believe Nebraska will never again execute an inmate because of the drug issues and expensive legal appeals. The last Nebraska inmate executed was Robert E. Williams in 1997.

Senator Bob Krist of Omaha supports the death penalty but says the state should stop the expensive process if it can't execute anyone.

A Department of Correctional Services spokeswoman declined to say whether state officials plan to change their lethal injection protocol.

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