Nebraska's death penalty faces scrutiny from committee

By  | 

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Nebraska's death penalty is facing fresh scrutiny from lawmakers after state officials resumed executions last year for the first time since 1997.

Members of the Legislature's Judiciary Committee heard public input Thursday on three bills related to capital punishment.

One measure by state Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks would prohibit prison officials from blocking witness views of an execution, as they did for 14 minutes last year when Carey Dean Moore was killed by lethal injection.

A second bill by Sen. Adam Morfeld would create an advisory council to evaluate the current defense system in Nebraska for capital punishment cases and see whether improvements are needed.

Sen. Ernie Chambers also presented the committee with a bill to abolish capital punishment, as he has done more than 40 times while in office.