Nebraska Attorney General Hails Death Penalty Ruling

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Nebraska's Attorney General is hailing a closely divided U.S. Supreme Court decision that will keep five men on the state's death row. Defense attorney's on the other hand expressed disappointment in Thursday's ruling.

Attorney General Jon Bruning says the ruling means Nebraska will not face the expense of trying to re-sentence the convicted killers.

Two years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that the constitutional right to trial by jury means by jurors, not judges, must weigh factors in determining death penalty cases.

Nebraska changed its death penalty law following that ruling. However, the Supreme Court's 2002 ruling was unclear on whether Nebraska would have to apply the law retroactively to death row inmates who were sentenced by judges.

The Supreme Court answered that question Thursday, ruling that its earlier decision does not apply retroactively.

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