Opinion Columns & Blogs

Will Kansas turn on death penalty, too?


The annual effort to repeal the death penalty in Kansas hasn’t stirred much interest among legislative leaders, even though there is money to be saved by doing so and Kansas needs cash. As Nebraska’s nonpartisan unicameral Legislature voted to abolish capital punishment this week, it was interesting to note the “conservative case for opposing the death penalty,” as a Washington Post headline put it. “It’s not being implemented. It is costing our state money. So we’re approaching this from a good-government perspective and saying, ‘Look, this is a program that’s not working. We should just get rid of it,’” said state Sen. Colby Coash, a self-described “pro-life” legislator who also said he’s “always struggled with taking the life from anybody.” But the story isn’t over in Nebraska, where Gov. Pete Ricketts has vowed to veto a death penalty repeal. – Rhonda Holman