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Death penalty

Nebraska lawmakers vote to abolish death penalty

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Nebraska lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday to abolish the death penalty by a big enough margin to override a threatened veto by Gov. Pete Ricketts.

The measure passed 32-15 in the state's unicameral Legislature. It would replace the death penalty with a sentence of life in prison.

If lawmakers override the expected veto, Nebraska would become the first conservative state to repeal the death penalty since North Dakota in 1973, the Lincoln Journal Star reports.

Reaction mixed to Tsarnaev death sentence in Boston Marathon bombing

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Reaction was mixed to the May 15 jury sentencing of death for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for his role in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

Tsarnaev had been convicted April 8 of all 30 counts lodged against him in the bombing, which killed three people and injured hundreds. Of those 30 counts, 17 carried the death penalty, and jurors imposed the death sentence on six of those -- all in connection with placing a bomb on Boylston Street along the marathon route.

Virginia bishops urge Catholics to shift focus of death penalty debate

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Virginia's bishops called on Catholics in the state's two dioceses to step up to change the debate about the use of the death penalty.

Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of Arlington said it was time to shift the conversation from who should be executed and how to execute people to why the death penalty continues to be applied, especially when other means to protect society without taking a human life exist.

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