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Nebraska bans the electric chair

CNN reported Friday that the Nebraska Supreme Court has ruled the electric chair to be unconstitutional.

Of the 36 states that employ capital punishment, Nebraska was the only one to still use the electric chair. The other 35 use lethal injection as the preferred means of execution.

In its opinion, the court recognized the "intense pain and agonizing suffering" to be a violation of the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the Eighth Amendment to the Federal Constitution.

The judges also wrote that death by electrocution "has proven itself a dinosaur more befitting the laboratory of Baron Frankenstein than the death chamber."

Since the death penalty was reinstated by the Supreme Court in 1976, 154 people have been executed by means of electrocution.

A measure to abolish the death penalty altogether in Nebraska was narrowly defeated last year.