More

Need a good reason to oppose the death penalty? How about 4 of them?

No matter what your political beliefs are, there's a really strong argument for putting an end to capital punishment.

Need a good reason to oppose the death penalty? How about 4 of them?

Nebraska recently joined 18 other states and the District of Columbia in abolishing its death penalty.

On May 20, 2015, the Nebraska Legislature voted 32-15 to repeal the death penalty, but Gov. Pete Ricketts vetoed that on May 26. The next week, the legislature voted to override the governor's veto on a vote of 30-19 (it takes 30 or more votes to override a veto in Nebraska).

Gov. Ricketts responded to the veto override on his Facebook page, expressing his disappointment.


"Just moments ago, the Legislature voted to repeal the death penalty. My words cannot express how appalled I am that we have lost a critical tool to protect law enforcement and Nebraska families. While the Legislature has lost touch with the citizens of Nebraska, I will continue to stand with Nebraskans and law enforcement on this important issue."
— Gov. Pete Ricketts

Nationally, nearly 2/3 of all Americans are in favor of the death penalty, but support is on the decline.

In an October 2014 Gallup poll, 63% of Americans favored the death penalty in murder cases, 33% were not in favor, and 4% had no opinion.

Support has been on a somewhat steady decline since the mid-'90s, and there are some really compelling reasons to put an end to the death penalty that cross party lines.

1. The death penalty has been shown to be an ineffective way to deter people from committing murder.

The murder rate is actually lower in states without the death penalty than in ones with it, according to the FBI's "Crime in the United States" report.

As of 2013, states without the death penalty have a 21% lower murder rate per 100,000 residents.

2. Wrongful convictions happen — to date, 153 death row inmates have been exonerated.

Yes, innocent people have been put on death row, and it's extremely probable that innocent people have died. The criminal justice system has been wrong before, and it certainly will be again.

There's no going back from executing an innocent person.

These protesters were petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to commute the sentence of Troy Davis, a man whose conviction for the 1989 murder of a police officer remained in doubt. Davis was executed in 2011. Photo by World Coalition Against the Death Penalty/Flickr.

3. Studies have suggested that execution is actually more expensive than life in prison.

Seattle University studied the costs of Washington state death penalty cases and those where the state hasn't sought the death penalty, and found that death penalty cases are on average over $1 million more expensive.

Then-Gov. Martin O'Malley speaks at a 2013 death penalty repeal press conference. Photo by Maryland GovPics/Flickr.

Maryland, the most recent state to abolish the death penalty (2013), concluded in a 2008 study that from 1978 to 2008, the state spent around $186 million on death penalty cases. In that same period, the state executed five inmates. It found that life in prison was a better option, financially.

4. If you think about it, capital punishment is a really arbitrary system — especially for something so serious.

Why do some people get sentenced to death while others get life in prison? Why does a state prosecute two criminals in such majorly different ways — and with such immensely different outcomes?

No one really knows.

Or, actually, there are some factors, but they're not going to make anyone happy:

1. Despite the fact that about 50% of murder victims are white, nearly 80% of executions involve cases where the victims were white.

2. A 2000 Justice Department survey found that prosecutors sought the death penalty disproportionately often in cases where the defendant was a racial minority.

Nebraska became the first traditionally conservative state to abolish the death penalty in more than 40 years. Just think if this started a trend.

Whether we as a country continue with the death penalty doesn't have to be a "blue vs. red" issue, a "left vs. right" issue, a "liberal vs. conservative" issue. The Nebraska Legislature just proved that. The U.S. can distance itself from the death penalty — if we want it.

True


Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


*Upworthy may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.

Photo by Tod Perry

The first few months after having a newborn are seriously stressful. It's tough to get any sleep and your entire schedule revolves around the needs of the baby.

It's expensive, too! It seems like you're constantly shelling out $25 for a box of diapers and $40 for a can of formula.

So it's understandable that a Facebook user who goes by the name of Chris Blaze asked for a deal when buying a Samsung washer and dryer set of a guy named Dave he met online.

Keep Reading Show less