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Governor says Nebraska will move forward with 10 executions

Governor says Nebraska will move forward with 10 executions
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts addresses the Legislature in Lincoln, Neb., as the legislaturemoved to abolish the death penalty. (Nati Harnik / Associated Press)

Nebraska Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts says lawmakers' repeal of the death penalty won't stop his administration from proceeding with executions of 10 people already sentenced to death.

Ricketts said Friday that he doesn't plan to cancel a shipment of lethal injection drugs that the state bought earlier this month.

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The GOP-controlled Legislature this week approved a law repealing the death penalty over the governor's veto. The law doesn't go into effect for three months.

Atty. Gen. Doug Peterson has raised questions about whether it unconstitutionally changes the sentences of current death row inmates to life in prison.

Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha, the law's lead sponsor, has said it's constitutional.

Chambers said the Legislature can't change a prisoner's sentence, but his law eliminates the state's authority to carry out executions.

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