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Lethal Injection

Nebraska Poised to Abolish Death Penalty, Would Be First State Since 2013

Nebraska lawmakers gave final approval Wednesday to a bill abolishing the death penalty, with enough votes to override a promised veto from Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts.

The 32-15 vote was bolstered by conservative senators who oppose capital punishment for fiscal, religious and pragmatic reasons.

If that vote holds in a veto override, Nebraska would become the first conservative state to repeal the death penalty since 1973.

Nebraska hasn't executed a prisoner since 1997, and some lawmakers have argued that constant legal challenges will prevent the state from doing so again.

Ricketts has vowed a veto, and announced last week that the state has bought new lethal injection drugs to resume executions.

Maryland was the last state to abolish capital punishment, in 2013. Thirty-two states have death penalty laws.

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— The Associated Press