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July 10, 2008

Why is There A Death Row Dilemma in Nebraska?

So earlier on this year the Unties States Supreme Court decided that the electric chair, which has been used for executions for decades, was inhumane. Although I disagree, because I figure, death is death, even if that is the case, I don’t think that ruling should leave those already sentenced to death in limbo. Especially someone as deserving of the death penalty as John Lotter. This guys needs to have his life ended for the three lives that he took. If he’s not going to the electric chair, then set him up with another way to die and end the “dilemma”.

Most of us are familiar with the murders that John Lotter committed. The murder of Tina Brandon, because she was transgendered, and two other people was the inspiration for the movie “Boys Don’t Cry”. This guy was brutal and cruel. I really don’t see why electrocution is too cruel for him.

I do understand Tina Brandon’s mother’s exertion that lethal injection is a lot like putting an animal to sleep. It is a milder way to die and honestly, for someone like this guy, does he really deserve milder? Not in my opinion. Lotter was sentenced to die by electrocution and I think that he should have to experience death through those means. I know it seems harsh but when someone is so obviously guilty of taking three lives, we can be a little cruel, I think.

The other part of the process that is slowing things down is the fact that Nebraska’s governor has not issued a new form of execution. The governor, Dave Heineman says that he wants to wait to give a new form of execution ruling. Special session could have been called by this time by state senators but nothing like that has happened. For whatever reason, the state is dragging their feet.

Other inmates that have been sentenced to death are also in limbo. It seems that Roy Ellis, a convicted sex offender who murdered a 12 year old girl and buried her body, may not get the death penalty due to technicalities. Some jurors thought the there were aggravating factors that made Ellis ineligible for the death penalty. A panel of judges will decide whether or not he will face death. This probably would not have been an issue if the Ellis case had not been coming through the court system during the time that these new death penalty ruling were.

So, what exactly makes the death penalty inhumane now? Nothing. There is no reason why electrocution has become inhumane. The crimes that those that are convicted of these brutal, cruel murders are the things that are inhumane. The Supreme Court needs to concentrate on something other than cases like whether or not electrocution is humane or not. In fact, as a society we need to think about things other than if the punishment for killers is appropriate. Let’s try to concentrate on finding out why there are so many murderers that we need to find something to do with.

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