Archive for Sunday, November 4, 2007

Judge rejects electric chair challenge

November 4, 2007


— A district court judge ruled this week that state Sen. Ernie Chambers is unable to challenge Nebraska's procedures for executing prisoners with the electric chair.

Chambers, of Omaha, filed a lawsuit in May arguing that the state violated its own rules when it came up with a new protocol for executions a few years ago.

But Lancaster County District Judge Earl Witthoff said Tuesday that Chambers failed to show that he had a "personal interest" or suffered personal injury from the state's protocol, as required by case law.

Chambers said Saturday that he hadn't read the judge's ruling and had no comment.

The Department of Correctional Services' policy adopted in 2004 calls for a single, continuous current of electricity instead of four separate jolts, a method courts had determined didn't comply with state law.

Chambers had said the department didn't a follow a law that requires public hearings and state oversight when devising the new protocol. He asked the district court to order an immediate moratorium on executions until the state complies with the so-called Administrative Procedure Act.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.