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Mr. Big Dog

'Boys Don't Cry' Mom: Keep Nebraska's Death Penalty

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Well, what do you know? There are still Conservatives out there that actually get it. Respect.

'Boys Don't Cry' Mom: Keep Nebraska's Death Penalty

By Tracy Connor

Nebraska moved closer Friday to repealing the death penalty, thanks to Republican and conservative lawmakers who argue it's a waste of taxpayer money, a failed government program, and cruel to victims' families who wait decades for an execution.

The relatives of those killed by the 11 men on death row are divided about whether capital punishment should end in the Cornhusker State — the goal of a bill that cleared its second hurdle with a 30-16 vote on Friday.

The mother of Brandon Teena, the transgender murder victim whose story was the basis of the film "Boys Dont Cry," said life in prison without parole isn't enough for the man convicted of killing the 21-year-old and two other people in 1993.

"I want him to die," Joann Brandon said of death-row inmate John Lotter. "It will bring some closure to me. It bothers me every day because I think about my daughter constantly and I don't see any justice being done for her.

"He was sentenced to die. He should have died a long time ago."

The movement is "pushing together an unlikely coalition of political allegiances," University of Nebraska law professor Eric Berger said.

The measure was sponsored by Sen. Ernie Chambers, a firebrand Democrat and Nebraska's only black state legislator, who recently came under fire for comparing police officers to ISIS.

He's made at least three dozen other attempts to end capital punishment in the state. The reason he may succeed this time is because Republican and conservative lawmakers have signed on.

Some of them believe an anti-execution stance is consistent with pro-life policies. Another factor driving them is the expense of capital cases, which drag on through years of appeals.

"Nebraska tends to be very cost-conscious," Berger said. "And there is growing sentiment here that capital punishment is a failed government program...It's something the state has proven inept at managing."

Joann Brandon dismisses those complaints.

"I think it's worth the money and time," she said of executions.

Brandon said her life was destroyed by her child's violent end; Teena was raped by two men who discovered he was transgender and then later killed for reporting the sexual assault to police.

When Brandon heard about the repeal effort, she was "devastated," she said.

"I'd like to tell them [legislators] what pills I have to take to get through the day, what this is doing to me personally, seeing him just sitting on death row," she said.

Kelle said she was opposed to the death penalty even before self-proclaimed prophet Michael Wayne Ryan gruesomely murdered her brother James Thimm — sodomizing him with a shovel handle, shooting off his fingers and skinning his leg before stomping him to death.

But 30 years after his conviction, she's even more sure that an execution won't bring her peace.

"We don't have to kill people," she said.

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Waste of TaxPayer Money? Cruel to the victims family who have to wait decades for execution?

I am sure life in prison cost a heck of a lot more than an execution.

I am sure the victim family wants it done asap, I would argue it was more cruel to the person the prisoner killed than the family having to wait

I don't see them repealing death penalty, especially if this is there main arguments....

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Waste of TaxPayer Money? Cruel to the victims family who have to wait decades for execution?

I am sure life in prison cost a heck of a lot more than an execution.

I am sure the victim family wants it done asap, I would argue it was more cruel to the person the prisoner killed than the family having to wait

I don't see them repealing death penalty, especially if this is there main arguments....

And as so often, you'd be wrong. It's been shown time and again that taxpayers pay a higher cost for a death sentence than they do for life imprisonment.

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Waste of TaxPayer Money? Cruel to the victims family who have to wait decades for execution?

I am sure life in prison cost a heck of a lot more than an execution.

I am sure the victim family wants it done asap, I would argue it was more cruel to the person the prisoner killed than the family having to wait

I don't see them repealing death penalty, especially if this is there main arguments....

Death row inmates appeal more expensively than non-death row inmates. Housing them is also more expensive. The end result is that a death-row inmate can millions more than a lifer.


Met in 2010 on a forum for a mutual interest. Became friends.
2011: Realized we needed to evaluate our status as friends when we realized we were talking about raising children together.

2011/2012: Decided we were a couple sometime in, but no possibility of being together due to being same sex couple.

June 26, 2013: DOMA overturned. American married couples ALL have the same federal rights at last! We can be a family!

June-September, 2013: Discussion about being together begins.

November 13, 2013: Meet in person to see if this could work. It's perfect. We plan to elope to Boston, MA.

March 13, 2014 Married!

May 9, 2014: Petition mailed to USCIS

May 12, 2014: NOA1.
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