Nebraska has voted to abolish capital punishment. The repeal had been adopted a few weeks ago but it was vetoed by the Governor. With a vote of 30 senators, the Governor's veto was overriden, and that is what happened yesterday. Nebraska is a conservative state, not a liberal one. At least not until now!
Moves by American states towards abolition of the death penalty are very important because they condition the interpretation of article 8 of the Bill of Rights. The Supreme Court will look to the practice of states as evidence of 'evolving standards of decency', which is the benchmark for applying the notion of cruel and unusual punishment.