|Ewing woman makes death penalty personal crusade|
|July 23, 2015 Jerry Purvis|
Photo by Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen - Ewing, Neb. resident Vivian Tuttle obtains signatures for her petition at the Scotts Bluff County Courthouse last week at one of her many stops across the state. Tuttle needs to obtain 57,609 signatures to place the death penalty on the Nebraska ballot.
ďAt each of the trials, I watched that video of my daughter getting down on her knees and shot in the back of the head. Thatís why Iím doing this.Ē
Vivian Tuttle of Ewing, Neb. was at the county courthouse in Gering last week to gather petition signatures that would allow Nebraska residents to vote on whether the death penalty should be reinstated. To get the measure on the ballot, signatures from a minimum of 10 percent of registered voters in 38 counties must be collected.
Vivian said her daughter, Evonne, was cashing a check at the bank in Norfolk on a rainy day in 2002 when a botched robbery left her dead. The three men involved are currently on death row.
ďThose men were sentenced to death and I donít think the Legislature should have ever pushed the buttons to eliminate the death penalty. Very seldom do I hear from anyone who opposes it.Ē
Vivian claimed that anti-death penalty lobbyists from New York and Baltimore were paid ďbig bucksĒ to come to Nebraska to offer perks and convince the numerous first-time legislators to support Sen. Ernie Chamberís LB 268 to repeal the death penalty. But she added the constituents of Nebraska didnít want the bill to pass. And some county boards have voted no confidence on their senators who supported it.
ďIíve been all over state with petitions,Ē Vivian said. ďIíve been to gas stations, the courthouses and even the bars. Iíve walked all over the town to gather signatures.Ē
At least 57,609 signatures of registered voters need to be submitted to the Secretary of Stateís office by Aug. 27 to get the issue on the 2016 general election ballot. The question to be submitted to the voters would be either yes or no on whether to reinstate the death penalty.