After the U.S. Supreme Court ended a moratorium on the death penalty in 1976, State Sen. Ernie Chambers embarked on a mission to abolish it in Nebraska. In every legislative session in which he’s served since, the north Omahan has pushed bills to repeal the death penalty, change death sentences to life sentences or halt executions. This year, he reached his goal.

Death penalty legislation introduced by Chambers, and its disposition:

1976: LB 702 is indefinitely postponed on General File.

1977: LB 64 is on General File at the end of the session and carried over to 1978.

1978: LB 64 is indefinitely postponed on General File.

1979: LB 262, which would repeal the death penalty and replace it with a mandatory 30-year prison sentence, is approved by the Legislature with 25 votes. Gov. Charles Thone vetoes it, and an override attempt fails.

1980: LB 762 is indefinitely postponed in committee.

1981: LB 202 is on General File at the end of the session and carried over to 1982.

1982: LB 202 is indefinitely postponed on General File.

1983: LB 202 is in committee at the end of the session and carried over to 1984.

1984: LB 202 is indefinitely postponed in committee.

1985: LB 70 is on General File at the end of the session and carried over to 1986.

1986: LB 70 is indefinitely postponed on General File.

1987: LB 675 is on General File at the end of the session and carried over to 1988.

1988: LB 675 is indefinitely postponed on General File.

1989: LB 596 gets a committee hearing but is carried over to 1990.

1990: LB 596 is indefinitely postponed in committee.

1991: LB 327 is on General File and carried over to 1992.

1992: LB 327 is indefinitely postponed on General File.

1993: LB 651 is in committee at the end of the session and carried over to 1994.

1994: LB 651 is indefinitely postponed in committee.

1995: LB 18 is in committee at the end of the session and carried over to 1996.

1996: LB 18 is indefinitely postponed in committee.

1997: LB 331 is in committee at the end of the session and carried over to 1998.

1998: LB 331 is indefinitely postponed in committee.

1999: LB 76, which would impose a two-year moratorium on executions, is approved by the Legislature by a 27-21 vote. Gov. Mike Johanns vetoes it, and there is no override attempt.

2000: LB 1118 is indefinitely postponed in committee.

2001: LB 18 is in committee at the end of the session and carried over to 2002.

2002: LB 18 is indefinitely postponed in committee.

2002: In a third special session, LB 19 is indefinitely postponed in committee.

2003: LB 791 is in committee at the end of the session and carried over to 2004.

2004: LB 791 is indefinitely postponed in committee.

2005: LB 760 is in committee at the end of the session and carried over to 2006.

2006: LB 760 is indefinitely postponed.

2007: LB 476 is on General File at the end of the session and carried over to 2008.

2008: LB 476 is indefinitely postponed on General File.

2009-2012: After a measure instituting term limits goes into effect, Chambers sits out of the Legislature for four years.

2013: LB 543 is on General File at the end of the session and carried over to 2014.

2014: LB 543 is indefinitely postponed on General File.

2015: LB 268, which repeals the death penalty, is approved by the Legislature by a vote of 32-15. Gov. Pete Ricketts vetoes the bill. The veto is overridden by a 30-19 vote.

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