Ask your neighbors: Why waste money on the death penalty?

By Darold Bauer from Retain a Just Nebraska:

On Monday, Dr. Ernest Goss, professor at Creighton University, (the same economist who has worked for Governor Ricketts’ think tank) released the findings of his analysis of the costs of the death penalty, finding that the State of Nebraska is spending $14,600,000 annually — above and beyond the cost of life in prison — to keep the death penalty in our state.

Our opponents immediately claimed that Dr. Goss’s study was flawed and that the analysis was done by the state government when it released a fiscal note that accompanied Legislative Bill 268. The problem? The fiscal note did not include any actual real numbers — because no one had studied the costs of Nebraska’s death penalty yet. You can see the actual note here. You can read Dr. Goss’s study here.

This week, 27 Senators signed a letter responding to Dr. Goss’ study that they are more confident than ever in their decision to end Nebraska’s death penalty in 2015.

At a news conference yesterday, Speaker Galen Hadley of Kearney said Dr. Goss’ study affirmed his vote, “I am a fiscal conservative who voted against spending $14.6 million a year on a broken program.” Senator Mike Gloor, from Grand Island, Chair of the Revenue Committee, considered the future impact of $14.6 million annual savings, “this money can be better used elsewhere.”

Our opponents are deliberately delivering half truths to drive their campaign. That’s why we need your help. Based on what we’re seeing come across our desks these last couple days, it’s likely your local media outlets covered this story.

Please take a few moments to write a letter to your local paper or call into your local radio talk show and say you are outraged the state is paying $14.6 annually on the death penalty. You can find tips and suggestions for reaching out to your local media outlets here.

It is indefensible to spend $14.6 million each year on any government program that is broken and cannot be used. With your help, we will rid the state of Nebraska of the death penalty. Thank you for your ongoing support.