Julie Bosman of the New York Times recently interviewed Nebraska Senator Colby Coash and me for an article she wrote on the push to repeal the death penalty in Nebraska. She noted that,
In the latest sign that vigorous support for capital punishment can no longer be taken for granted among Republicans, a coalition of Republican, Democratic and independent lawmakers has backed a bill that would replace capital punishment with life imprisonment. Its members cite reasons that range from fiscal and practical to ideological.
She quoted Senator Coash as stating,
“I’m a conservative guy — I’ve been a Republican my whole life,” he said in an interview. “A lot of my conservative colleagues have come to the conclusion that we’re there to root out inefficient government programs. Some people see this as a pro-life issue. Other people see it as a good-government issue. But the support that this bill is getting from conservative members is evidence that you can get justice through eliminating the death penalty, and you can get efficient government through eliminating the death penalty.”
After speaking with me, she wrote,
“It’s a broken government program that produces no tangible benefits,” said Marc Hyden, the director of the national group Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty. “More and more conservatives are increasingly seeing this as just another program that is antithetical to our conservative ideas.”