LINCOLN — A Nebraska lawmaker known for provocative statements stirred up controversy Wednesday by posting a graphic photo of a beheaded woman on his Facebook page.

State Sen. Bill Kintner of Papillion said he doesn’t know if the photo is real but he posted it to make a point about the need for the death penalty.

“According to the Nebraska Legislature, the thugs that did this should just be locked away and well fed for the next 50 years of the(ir) lives,” he wrote on the page. “Anyone think the Legislature is thinking clearly?”

By early evening, the photo had drawn more than 120 comments. Some took Kintner to task for the posting, saying the picture does not belong on Facebook, where children could see it and where it could cause grief to the woman’s family. By late Wednesday night, the photo was no longer on Kintner’s page.

“This is a very warped, disgusting and undignified attempt at getting attention and making your point,” wrote Lindy Bone of Omaha. “You should be ashamed. You do not deserve to speak for the people of Nebraska.”

Others defended the posting and Kintner’s position in support of the death penalty.

“I think this picture is relevant since the Unicameral has caused so much damage this year,” said Mike Weaver of Papillion. “Sometimes a graphic reminder (o)f the evil in the world is necessary!”

Kintner shared the photo from the Twitter account of Pegida Ireland, which posted it without any explanation of who the woman was, when she died or the circumstances of her death.

Pegida began in Germany in opposition to what the group called the “Islamisation” of the West. The photo carries a label in the corner saying “hosted @ BestGore[dot]com.”

The senator said he used the photo because it made his point, regardless of its source. He said any controversy about the photo came from liberals who oppose the death penalty.

Nebraska lawmakers overrode a gubernatorial veto last week to repeal the state’s death penalty. Gov. Pete Ricketts and other death penalty supporters announced an effort this week to try to put the issue before voters, via a referendum petition drive.

Contact the writer: 402-473-9583, martha.stoddard@owh.com

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