Ricketts endorses ballot campaign to preserve death penalty

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts is endorsing a ballot campaign to prevent the repeal of the state’s death penalty.

Nebraskans for the Death Penalty announced the support Tuesday from Ricketts and state Sen. Beau McCoy of Omaha, a proponent of capital punishment who was considering his own petition drive.

The group formed less than a week after lawmakers voted to override the governor’s veto and abolish the death penalty, which hasn’t been carried out in Nebraska since 1997.

The group filed for a referendum Monday and expects to have petitions available as early as Friday. Organizers launched a website, www.NebraskansfortheDeathPenalty.com .

The repeal law goes into effect three months after the session ends. Supporters have until late August to submit enough signatures for a referendum, which would take place in November 2016.

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