Nebraska court bans the electric chair

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Friday, February 8, 2008

The Nebraska Supreme Court has banned the use of the electric chair in the execution of murderers. The court found that the application violated the Nebraska constitution's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Since July 2002, Nebraska has been the only state in the United States to use electrocution as its only executional method.

The case developed from death sentence of Raymond Mata Jr., who was convicted in the murder of three-year-old Adam Gomez. Mata's sentence was upheld by the court but stayed it stating that when petitioning for a date, the state should establish that it has a "constitutionally acceptable method of carrying out Mata's sentence." With this ban, no states retain electrocution as their primary means of execution; many other states retain it as an option if their primary methods are declared illegal or the condemned chooses them.


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