NORFOLK, Neb. — From a small storefront on a busy strip of highway in northeastern Nebraska, Ron Stauffer is trying to persuade his neighbors that the fight over the death penalty in this conservative state does not have to be over.
The State Legislature voted resoundingly in May to repeal capital punishment, but Mr. Stauffer and other proponents of the death penalty have begun a counterattack: They are collecting signatures in grocery stores, on doorsteps and at county fairs to try to block the new law and to force a statewide vote on whether the death penalty should be reinstated. And their effort is largely bankrolled by Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican, and his billionaire father.