Today, we welcome “Big Red Nation” by Brett Biebel to our New Voices catalog. Biebel captures the spirit of the Great Plains and the fiery passion abundant in one of the nation’s blue blood fanbases in this intelligent, incisive flash. Read on.
Then someone else piped up and said there was no way a couple hundred Husker fans who supported the death penalty were ever gonna vote for a Democrat, and you know how conspiratorial everyone is these days. We delay and give a bogus reason, well, then the press comes sniffing around.
The state of Nebraska executed Matthew Alan Nowinski at 10:47AM on a Friday, some 32 hours before the biggest Husker football game in at least a decade. In fact, in the days leading up to the execution, 200 or so citizens had written to the governor asking for a stay, and most of these letters said some version of the same thing: Nowinski was a fan. I support the death penalty. We don’t want the bad karma. What’s the harm in waiting a few days, or, better yet, until the season’s over? If he’s gonna go anyway, surely a month or two either way doesn’t matter, and doesn’t this happen all the time?
For his part, the governor conferenced with staff that morning, and at least one advisor urged him to issue the stay. After all, the letters were right. Nowinski would be dead no matter what. Why risk angering a couple hundred diehards and maybe losing some votes when we could just as easily say it’s about reconfirming a few details or because our fentanyl supplier fell through or any number of other procedural reasons, this advisor argued, and the governor himself appeared to consider it. Then someone else piped up and said there was no way a couple hundred Husker fans who supported the death penalty were ever gonna vote for a Democrat, and you know how conspiratorial everyone is these days. We delay and give a bogus reason, well, then the press comes sniffing around. And if we’re honest, if we say we’re worried about bad karma, then isn’t that like saying the death penalty’s something we should be ashamed of when we all know it’s nothing if not the truest and purest form of justice we got? Not to mention biblically sanctioned, and if we frame it as an act of mercy, well, then we look like bleeding hearts, don’t we, and remember what they did to Dukakis? Too much risk, not enough reward, she said.