In State v. Mata, the Nebraska Supreme Court held that death by electrocution violates the Nebraska Constitution's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, effectively overruling an established line of Nebraska precedent upholding electrocution as a constitutional means of execution. At the time of the Court's decision, Nebraska had the dubious distinction of being the only state in the union using electrocution as the state's sole method of execution. Now, in the aftermath of Mata, Nebraska finds itself in a curious position: capital punishment is statutorily and constitutionally permissible in the state of Nebraska, but there is currently no available method of execution.
Cruel and Unusual: State v. Mata, the Electric Chair, and the Nebraska Supreme Court's Rejection of a Subjective Intent Requirement in Death Penalty Jurisprudence,
88 Neb. L. Rev.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol88/iss1/6