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Nebraska Repeals Death Penalty

why do we killGov. Pete Ricketts, a first-term Republican, had vetoed legislation to repeal Nebraska’s death row.  Today, Nebraska became the first conservative state in more than 40 years to abolish the death penalty  when lawmakers boldly voted 30-19 to override the governor’s veto.

Nebraska has not executed anyone since 1997, and one of the 11 inmates on its death row died this week in prison, bringing those on death row in Nebraska to 10. Prisoner, Michael Ryan, had spent 30 years Nebraska’s death row, convicted for the 1985 cult killings of two people.

The news comes at a time when the U.S. Supreme Court is in position to issue a major decision on capital punishment by lethal injection. The lethal injection has been used, and botched, and those states trying to get the concoction are having problems obtaining it. Read the rest of this entry

Blues for A Sunday

PBS discovered video and audiotapes of a concert that was presumed lost for nearly 20 years. It was live recording of the Presidential Inaugural concert in 1989 for George H.W. Bush. The title of the concert was “A Celebration of Blues and Soul.” There are excerpts of it on Youtube. I was watching and listening when the following came to mind.

Stevie Ray VaughnIn the video, Stevie Ray Vaughan is featured, among other Blue’s greats such as Bo Diddley, Billy Preston, Percy Sledge, Koko Taylor, Eddie Floyd, William Bell and Carla Thomas.

It makes me melancholy in a strange sort of way. Like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Billy Preston and Koko Taylor have passed on. While I knew of many blues artists as a child, listened to their records, and saw many perform in holes in the wall before they became famous, I did not know of Stevie Ray Vaughan until after his death. That makes me feel guilty that I failed to support him during his life, and failed to see him perform live. Stevie died in 1990 in a helicopter crash at the age 35. Read the rest of this entry

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