Nebraskans get chance to weigh in on death penalty

While Nebraska’s 49 state senators debate a proposal that would abolish Nebraska’s death penalty and replace it with a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, Nebraskans can express their opinions on Monday, May 13, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. CT during an NET News live chat ( scheduled to coincide with a portion of the Legislature’s floor debate on LB543.In addition to the chat, a live stream of the floor debate will be available for viewing on the NET website, live television coverage will be provided on NET2 World and on NET’s new “Nebraska Capitol Live” mobile app.Also on May 13, NET Radio “Morning Edition” host Ariana Brocious will interview NET News Reporter/Producer Bill Kelly during the daily “Signature Story.” The two will discuss the history of efforts to repeal the death penalty during the past 100 years. Kelly recently produced the NET News documentary “…until he is dead: A History of the Death Penalty in Nebraska.” The program reviews the long and complex history of capital punishment in the state. The NET Radio “Signature Story” airs weekdays at 6:30 and 8:30 a.m., and 4:30 p.m. CT.Several members of the NET News staff will participate in the chat -- including Legislative Reporter Fred Knapp, NET News Director Dennis Kellogg, Reporter/Producer Hilary Stohs-Krause and Kelly.LB543 is sponsored by State Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha. Debate on the bill comes at a time when a growing number of states have abolished the death penalty. Currently, 18 states operate without capital punishment, and six of those have been added since 2007. In some cases, the prohibition applies only to new sentences and convicted criminals under current death sentences remain that way.In March, LB543 was advanced by the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee on a vote of 7-0, with one abstention. In order to pass, 25 votes would be required in each of three rounds of voting. Thirty votes are required to overcome a veto by the governor.NET2 World is part of NET Television. NET Television, NET Radio and the NET website are services of NET. For complete program schedules, visit NET's website at