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Nebraska Court: Electric Chair Unconstitutional

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By Admin on February 08, 2008 2:28 PM

Use of the electric chair in carrying out the death penalty amounts to unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment, according to a ruling issued today by the Nebraska Supreme Court. In its 6-1 decision in the appeal of Raymond Mata, Jr. -- convicted of murder and kidnapping in 2000 -- the court heard arguments for and against electrocution's continued use in the state, and concluded that "electrocution will unquestionably inflict intolerable pain unnecessary to cause death in enough executions so as to present a substantial risk that any prisoner will suffer unnecessary and wanton pain in a judicial execution by electrocution." The New York Times reports that Nevada is the only state that currently uses electrocution as its sole method of capital punishment, so today's decision effectively suspends all executions in the state.

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