NE Legislators Hear Pros, Cons Of Death Penalty


The son of one of the five people gunned down in a Norfolk bank spoke forcefully Thursday in support of Nebraska’s death penalty, reports the Omaha World-Herald. “My name is Bill Sun, and I am a victim,” Sun told the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee in a hearing room packed to overflowing. Lethal injection, he told them, must be adopted so “the system will work.” His father, Samuel Sun, was one of the bank victims. Just as forcefully, Sadie Bankston stared out at the lawmakers and told them she had forgiven the man who gunned down her son, Wendell Grixby, on an Omaha street in 1989. “I am not for the death penalty because the death penalty will not bring back my son,” Bankston said.

The emotional and much-debated issue of the death penalty returned to the State Capitol with testimony on two bills: Legislative Bill 36, which would adopt lethal injection as the state’s method of execution, and Legislative Bill 306, which would repeal the death penalty and replace it with life in prison and no chance of parole. The committee took no action after listening to the testimony. Sen. Brad Ashford of Omaha, the chairman, promised a lengthy deliberation before either measure is forwarded to the 49-member Legislature for debate.

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