Wingnut Nebraska Governor: Fine, Repeal The Death Penalty, I'll Just Murder Folks Myself!
Last week, we said "Hurray!" and "Nice time!" because Nebraska repealed the death penalty, and that is a big deal for a conservative state. Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts had vetoed the legislature's repeal bill, LB268, but lawmakers decided to tell him to suck it, voting overwhelmingly to override his veto. Well, guess who is having a himself a little temper tantrum now! That's right, it is Gov. Pete Ricketts. He is so mad, he's just going to have to execute the 10 inmates sitting on death row ALL BY HIMSELF:
Ricketts called for a voter referendum to overturn the repeal; then he said that the state would execute the ten prisoners currently under sentence of death anyway, using sodium thiopental imported from India.
Because why not? It's not as if the legislature passed a law against it or anything! Ricketts believes that, since those bad guys were sentenced to death, it doesn't even matter that the practice is now illegal. He's the governor, and the legislature is NOT his real dad. But as The Atlantic's Garrett Epps explains, there are a few wee problems with his plan, probably inconsequential:
[B]y law, an execution also requires a death warrant, and in Nebraska only the state supreme court can issue one.
Oh. And can the court do Ricketts' bidding? Can he go before the Nebraska Supreme Court and say, "Pleeeeeease let me kill, just a few more times"? Nope, he's shit out of luck:
After it takes effect, LB268 doesn’t suspend lethal injection, as a court decision might; it repeals every provision that allows executions of any kind. After September, those condemned prisoners may still be formally under sentence of death; but no court will have jurisdiction to issue a death warrant, and no official will have authority to carry one out.
But, but, but! Maybe Gov. Ricketts can score some people-killin' drugs and sneak into the prison late at night with a syringe and a wild-eyed stare and take care of business on his own, would that work? Foiled again, Governor Killerface:
[T]he Food and Drug Administration is under a 2013 order from the D.C. Circuit to seize all sodium thiopental coming into the United States from unregistered dealers like Harris Pharma. [...]
Eric Shumsky, who argued the D.C. Circuit case, told me that, under the court’s order, the FDA is required to seize any shipment at the border. There’s no way for Nebraska to get its drug supply—“unless they plan to smuggle it in in someone’s backpack,” he said.
Someone's backpack? Well, why didn't they say so? Gov. Ricketts probably has a backpack! So these are the things Ricketts has to do, to satiate his blood lust:
1. Go to India, with his backpack.
2. Find some death drugs and buy them, with his own allowance.
3. Visit Taj Mahal, because YOLO!
4. Put death drugs in backpack and take them back to Nebraska.
5. MURDER EVERYONE!
What a fuckin' weirdo.