Ricketts Defends Donation to Death Penalty Petition Group

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LINCOLN, Neb-- Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts is defending his $100,000 donation to a group that's leading a ballot drive to save the death penalty.

Ricketts said Wednesday that he feels strongly that voters should be allowed to decide whether to keep capital punishment in the state.

Ricketts and his father, TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, each contributed $100,000 to Nebraskans for the Death Penalty in its most recent filing period. The group raised a total of nearly $244,000 in that time frame.

Nebraska lawmakers abolished the death penalty in May when they overrode the governor's veto of a repeal measure. The ballot measure could reverse the Legislature's action.

Ricketts said he didn't consider the donation inappropriate because the final decision would rest voters. He says he may contribute more in the future.