Meet the hero of the abolition of the death penalty in Nebraska (2/2)


Meet the hero of the abolition of the death penalty in Nebraska (2/2)

An "incident" put Chamber's odisea at risk. In March, during a debate in Parliament, Chambers made a statement that immediately made headlines arounf the State and beyond. Chambers asked a conservative MP who lobbied for even more liberal weapon laws, what more weapons could bring to State already packed by them. Incredibly, his conservative colleague replied that those weapons were to be used in case someone met an ISIS terrorist. Thus, also in reference to the controversy surrounding the United States for the repeated cases of police killings of unarmed African American citizens, Chambers replied that the citizens of Nebraska, and especially those of colour, already know something very similar to the mentality of an ISIS' terrorist: the police.

Obviously this comment caused a huge controversy and many asked him to apologize to the police, which Chambers reiterated he had no intention of doing. For a moment it was feared that this would cause Republicans to cancel their support for the abolitionist bill, but in the end only one withdrew his name from the list of proponents, stating that he would however vote in favour of the measure. Sudden controversy aside, Chambers was prudent: until the eve of the final vote, he declared not to be able to predict the vote. He placed confidence in the strong presence of newly elected members in Parliament, of whom 11 - including 6 Republicans - co-promoted the bill.

He told journalists that unlike previous years, his colleagues paid greater attention to the costs of applying the death penalty, which drains many human and financial resources, with a very poor return in terms of concrete results. So, after years of patient work by Senator Ernie Chambers, and after surpassing Governor's Ricketts veto, Nebraska became the first Republican-led American State to abolish the death penalty in the modern era. Thank you Ernie.

 

Translation: Laura Harth