There were important referendums on the death penalty on the ballot in several states on November 9th.  Despite some of these setbacks, actual executions and support for the death penalty continue to be on a downward trend.

Oklahoma amended its State Constitution to protect the death penalty and declare that it cannot be deemed cruel and unusual punishment by state courts.

Voters in Nebraska decided to reinstate the death penalty, after it was eliminated by state legislators last year.

Lastly,  California voters rejected a proposition that would have repealed the death penalty, despite what appeared to be growing support heading into the election.  To make matters worse in California, voters voted to speed up the state’s appellate process for people sentenced to death.

We must continue to fight to maintain the progress we have made towards abolishing the death penalty.