Ricketts says state plans to proceed with executions

Ricketts says state plans to proceed with executions

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Gov. Pete Ricketts said the state will continue to purchase lethal injection drugs with the intention of proceeding with executions.

The issue presumably is headed for the courts with Attorney General Doug Peterson already challenging language in the bill to repeal the death penalty (LB268) that says the Legislature's intent is that the measure apply to prisoners already on death row.

Ricketts addressed the Legislature's override of his veto during a news conference Friday.

Before the override, Ricketts announced the state will soon have the three drugs it needs to administer lethal injection.

If a referendum petition drive is successful, the law repealing the death penalty would be suspended until Nebraska voters decided the issue in the 2016 elections.

Ricketts said he will support a proposed referendum drive to restore the death penalty.

"I absolutely believe people should have the right to vote on it," the governor said. "I will be personally involved."

On that issue, Ricketts said, "I believe the Legislature is out of touch with a majority of Nebraskans."

As senators go home for the summer, Ricketts said, "I think they'll find out their constituents are not happy" with that decision.

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