Nebraska Revised Statute 29-2521.03
Criminal homicide cases; appeal; sentence; Supreme Court review.
The Supreme Court shall, upon appeal, determine the propriety of the sentence in each case involving a criminal homicide by comparing such case with previous cases involving the same or similar circumstances. No sentence imposed shall be greater than those imposed in other cases with the same or similar circumstances. The Supreme Court may reduce any sentence which it finds not to be consistent with sections 29-2521.01 to 29-2521.04, 29-2522, and 29-2524.
- Laws 1978, LB 711, § 3;
- Laws 2015, LB268, § 35;
- Referendum 2016, No. 426.
- Note: The repeal of section 29-2521.03 by Laws 2015, LB 268, section 35, is not effective because of the vote on the referendum at the November 2016 general election.
A death sentence imposed for the first degree premeditated murder of a 3-year-old boy whose body was dismembered and disposed of in pieces was proportional to that imposed in cases involving gratuitous violence inflicted upon young children. State v. Mata, 275 Neb. 1, 745 N.W.2d 229 (2008).
A proportionality review under this section looks only to other cases in which the death penalty has been imposed. State v. Bjorklund, 258 Neb. 432, 604 N.W.2d 169 (2000).
The purpose of this section is to ensure that no sentence imposed shall be greater than those imposed in other cases with the same or similar circumstances, and review includes only those cases in which the death penalty was imposed. State v. Victor, 235 Neb. 770, 457 N.W.2d 431 (1990).
This section requires the Supreme Court to determine the propriety of the death sentence in a case in which it has been imposed by comparing the sentence with previous cases involving the same or similar circumstances. The proportionality review made under the requirements of this section and sections 29-2521.01 and 29-2521.02 is limited to a comparison of the facts and circumstances of the death penalty-imposed case under review with those of all applicable cases in which the death penalty was imposed. State v. Joubert, 224 Neb. 411, 399 N.W.2d 237 (1986).
Supreme Court's review includes only those cases in which the death penalty was imposed. State v. Palmer, 224 Neb. 282, 399 N.W.2d 706 (1986).
Statute does not apply to death sentences imposed before April 20, 1973. State v. Peery, 223 Neb. 556, 391 N.W.2d 566 (1986).
The comparative review required by this section does not apply to a death sentence which was imposed and became final prior to the effective date of the statute. State v. Rust, 223 Neb. 150, 388 N.W.2d 483 (1986).
The Supreme Court's review and analysis shall include all first degree murder convictions for offenses committed on or after April 20, 1973, including cases presently pending in this court on appeal. State v. Reeves, 216 Neb. 206, 344 N.W.2d 433 (1984).
Sections 29-2521.01 to 29-2521.03 require the Supreme Court to review cases involving criminal homicides committed on or after April 20, 1973, in which the trial court has imposed a sentence of death. State v. Williams, 205 Neb. 56, 287 N.W.2d 18 (1979).
In adopting sections 29-2521.01 to 29-2522, the Legislature intended to establish a procedure whereby the death penalty would be applied uniformly throughout the state. The procedure does not come into play where the death penalty is not imposed. State v. Welsh, 202 Neb. 249, 275 N.W.2d 54 (1979).