For Immediate Release: 

October 18, 2019 9:30 am cst


Contact: Danielle Conrad, executive director, ACLU of Nebraska, dconrad@aclunebraska.org402-476-8091 ext. 102


Lincoln, Nebraska-Today the Nebraska Supreme Court issued an opinion in Griffith and Chambers v. the Nebraska Department of Correction Services. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Reverend Stephen Griffith and State Senator Ernie Chambers. The lawsuit was initially filed in Lancaster County District Court, in March 2018, alleging that the state of Nebraska approved a flawed execution protocol developed by the state Department of Corrections Services without adequate public review and in violation of the due process clause of the Nebraska State Constitution. Plaintiffs requested a declaration that the execution protocol was void. They also asked that Defendants be enjoined from carrying out any executions until a new Execution Protocol was adopted.


The following statement can be attributed to ACLU of Nebraska Executive Director Danielle Conrad:

“We were honored to have our day in court to challenge how Nebraska’s death penalty protocol was developed. The court’s opinion did not reach the merits of this challenge but rather on procedural grounds the court found that our clients lacked standing to bring these challenges. In fact the opinion specifically noted that today’s ruling does not resolve the individual claims of those on death row regarding the deficient and improper procedures that the Department of Corrections followed when establishing Nebraska’s present lethal injection protocol. Therefore, today’s decision leaves many important questions unanswered about the Department of Corrections hasty and secretive process for establishing new lethal injection protocols.  


While we respect that Nebraskans of goodwill hold different viewpoints on the death penalty, these and other concerns about transparency, accountability, and fairness will persist beyond this case. These problems will continue to drain resources from our crisis-riddled prison system, courts and legislature until we rejoin our sister states who have turned away from the death penalty.”